Bleeding time in hemophilia a: Potential mechanisms for prolongation
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Prolongation of bleeding time has been previously observed in hemophilia, although no cause has been elucidated. We measured bleeding time, platelet aggregation, nucleotide release, and thromboxane B2 (TXB2), plasma 6-keto-PGF 1 alpha, platelet-associated IgG (PAIgG), and circulating immune complexes in 31 unselected patients with severe hemophilia A and in 17 controls. In 85% of patients with hemophilia A, the bleeding time was greater than 2 SD above the control level (greater than 8 minutes). Sixty-six percent of patients with hemophilia A had circulating immune complexes, and there was a striking relationship between the presence of these complexes and prolonged bleeding time. Plasma 6-keto-PGF 1 alpha levels were significantly elevated in the patient group, and correlated with bleeding time changes. Platelet aggregation and nucleotide release were normal in the patients with hemophilia, although reduced platelet TXB2 biosynthesis was noted in 26%. No correlation was demonstrated between bleeding time and impairment of platelet TXB2 formation. Seventy-two percent of the patients with hemophilia A had elevated levels of PAIgG, and an inverse relationship between PAIgG and platelet count was observed. No relationship was noted between platelet count and bleeding time. This study indicates that the majority of patients with hemophilia A have prolonged bleeding times. The close correlation between bleeding time, plasma 6-keto-PGF 1 alpha levels, and the presence of circulating immune complexes suggests a role for immune complex-mediated defects in vascular function as the basis for bleeding time prolongation.
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