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Thrombin Generation Testing in Patients with Myelofibrosis by M. Palova, L. Slavik, A. Hlusi, T. Szotkowski, J. Ulehlova, M. Divoka, J. Navratilova, T. Papajik

Background: Primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is a chronic clonal myeloid disorder. Together with essential thrombocythemia (ET) and polycythemia vera (PV), it belongs to a group of Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms. Thrombotic events are serious complications negatively influencing the quality and length of these patients’ lives. The confirmed risk factors for venous thromboembolism are age over 60 years, a positive history of thromboembolism, presence of common cardiovascular risks, JAK2 V617F mutation and, according to some authors, leukocytosis. Various opinions on the role of thrombocythemia have been published. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the benefit of thrombin generation test and its potential use in predicting the risk of thrombosis in MF patients.
Methods: The analysis included plasma samples obtained from 36 patients diagnosed with MF in our center from 2004 to 2016 (JAK2 V617-positive 53%; CALR-positive 31%; MPL-positive 14%; triple negative 2%) and a control group comprising 20 healthy volunteer blood donors. Thrombin generation was measured in platelet-rich plasma using the TECHNOTHROMBIN® TGA kit (Technoclone, Austria) and the fully automated system Ceveron® Alpha (Technoclone). The results were correlated with clinical and laboratory parameters of the patients.
Results: There were differences in thrombin generation as expressed by endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) between patients and healthy controls, with ETP being lower in the patient group (p = 0.0003). Analysis confirmed a significant correlation between thrombin generation and platelet counts, with higher thrombin generation in patients with thrombocythemia > 400 x 109/L (p = 0.04). ETP values were consistently higher in earlier disease stages and lower in CALR-mutated myelofibrosis.
Conclusions: In MF patients, thrombin generation is mainly influenced by platelet counts and, to a lesser extent, by mutation status, activity, and progression of the disease. Thrombin generation test results have confirmed that thrombocythemia is a potential risk factor for thrombotic complications.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2018.180204