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10-01-2011 | Mental health | Article

Thrombogenesis markers increased in unmedicated psychosis patients


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MedWire News: Markers of thrombogenesis are elevated in untreated patients with acute psychosis, researchers have found.

The findings suggest that pathogenic mechanisms related to psychosis may be partly responsible for the increased risk for venous thromboembolic events observed in psychotic patients.

Writing in the journal BMC Psychiatry, Jirí Masopust (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic) and team explain: "Antipsychotic treatment has been repeatedly found to be associated with an increased risk for venous thromboembolism in schizophrenia.

But they add: "The extent to which the propensity for venous thromboembolism is linked to antipsychotic medication alone or psychosis itself is unclear."

To address this, the team assessed levels of plasma markers of coagulation (D-dimer and Factor VIII) and platelet (soluble P-selectin, sP-selectin) activation in 25 antipsychotic-naive patients (11women) with acute psychosis and 20 age-, gender-, and body mass index (BMI)-matched mentally healthy controls.

The average age and BMI of the patients was 29.1 years and 23.6 kg/m2, respectively.

The researchers found that mean D-dimer levels were significantly higher in psychotic patients than controls, at 1.12 versus 0.28 mg/l, as were mean levels of sP-selectin, at 209.9 versus 124.1 ng/ml.

There was also a trend toward increased mean plasma levels of factor VIII in patients with psychosis compared with controls, at 160% versus 123%.

Masopust and team conclude: "In our sample of unmedicated patients with acute psychosis, we found an increased level of blood markers of the pathological activation of blood clotting and fibrinolysis, as well as activation of thrombocytes when compared with matched healthy volunteers."

They add: "Prospective studies are needed to elucidate the biological mechanisms involved in the relationship between venous thromboembolism and antipsychotic medication versus the mental disorder itself."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Mark Cowen

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