Clinical Significance of Tissue Factor–Exposing Microparticles in Arterial and Venous Thrombosis
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Microparticles (MP) are small extracellular vesicles (30-1,000 nm) that are released from activated cells or platelets. Exposure of negatively charged phospholipids and tissue factor (TF) renders MP procoagulant. Normal plasma levels of intravascular TF-exposing MP (TFMP) are low, but their number may rise in pathological conditions, including cancer and infectious disease. Emerging evidence indicates an important role for these circulating TFMP in the pathogenesis of thrombotic complications such as venous thromboembolism and disseminated intravascular coagulation, whereas their contribution to arterial thrombosis is less studied. Despite serious limitations of the currently available assays for measuring TFMP levels or the procoagulant activity associated with TFMP with respect to sensitivity and specificity, the scientific interest in TFMP is rapidly growing because their application as prognostic biomarkers for thrombotic complications is promising. Future advances in detection methods will likely provide more insight into TFMP and eventually improve their clinical utility.
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