In a randomized, blind study, the effect of saline, a low-molecular-weight heparin (Fragmin), and a recombinant hirudin (CGP 39393) on thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complexes and D dimer (DD) levels were studied in 60 rabbits. The drugs were always injected subcutaneously 2 h before the induction of thrombosis in the jugular vein by a combination of endothelial damage and flow reduction. A sample of blood was obtained just before surgery, and a further sample was obtained 10 min after thrombus formation. No significant differences were found in TAT plasma levels between the different study agents, either before or after thrombus development. However, 2 h after drug administration DD values were significantly lower in hirudin-treated animals (292 ± 69 vs. 372 ± 138 ng/ml; p < 0.05). Then, after thrombus formation, DD levels significantly increased in all three groups of animals, as compared to baseline levels. But the increase was significantly higher in hirudin-treated rabbits: DD levels after thrombus development were significantly higher in this group as compared to placebo (779 ± 188 vs. 664 ± 152 ng/ml; p < 0.05). There are no previous reports in the literature about the effect of hirudin on DD levels. Our hypothesis is that the effect of hirudin on DD may be the result of its ability to inhibit the thrombin-induced thrombus growth. If the thrombus is not allowed to grow then it will lyse more quickly, producing more DD and the process will not be impaired by the constant deposition of fibrin. Alternatively, clot-bound thrombin could be inhibited by hirudin (and not by low-molecular-weight heparin), thereby preventing local activation of blood platelets. © 1994 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- D dimer
- Venous thrombosis