MoD S6 - Haemostasis, Thrombosis and Embolism Flashcards Preview

ESA2 Callum's Cards - Complete > MoD S6 - Haemostasis, Thrombosis and Embolism > Flashcards

Flashcards in MoD S6 - Haemostasis, Thrombosis and Embolism Deck (45):

What factors does successful haemostasis depend on?

Vessel wall contraction
Coagulation system
Fibrinolytic system


How do blood vessels limit blood loss upon being injured?

Constrict to limit blood loss:
- More effective if vessel fully severed, not just partially
- Mechanism not fully understood


What are the major actions of platelets when a vessel is injured?

Adhere to damaged vessel wall and other platelets

Form a platelet plug

Platelet release reaction


What is the platelet release reaction?

ATP ---> ADP

ADP and thromboxane A2 cause platelet aggregation

5-HT and platelet factor 3 released

PF3 important in coagulation cascade (extrinsic pathway)

Platelets coalesce after aggregation


Briefly describe the process of coagulation


Coagulation cascade converts a series of inactive components to active components

Prothrombin is proteolytically cleaved to form thrombin which in turn catalyses the fibrinogen to fibrin reaction

Fibrin then goes on to form the clot (along with RBCs and platelets)


Why must coagulation be tightly controlled?

1ml of blood can generate enough thrombin to convert all the fibrinogen in the body to fibrin

Therefore a delicate balance of procoagulant and anticoagulant factors must be maintained


Give 5 examples of thrombin inhibitors

Which 2 are non specific antiproteases?

Which 3, when deficient lead to increased risk of thrombosis?

Anti-thrombin III and Proteins C and S:
- Inherited deficiency of these can lead to increased risk of thrombosis

Alpha 1 anti-trypsin, Alpha 2 macroglobulin:
- Wandering non-specific anti-proteases


Give a brief description of fibrinolysis

How is this process exploited therapeutically?

Breakdown of fibrin is performed by plasmin, which is converted from plasminogen by plasminogen activators

Fibrinolytic therapy with drugs such as t-PA and streptokinase can be used to breakdown a clot and restore bloodflow during a stroke or MI


How is the endothelium involved in haemostasis?

Produces anti-thrombotic factors such as:
- Plasminogen activators
- Prostacyclin
- Nitric oxide
- Thrombomodulin


Define thrombosis

The formation of a solid mass of blood in the circulatory system during life


Why does thrombosis occur?

Split the different reasons into 3 major categories

Virchow's Triad

Abnormalities of the vessel wall:
- Atheroma
- Direct injury
- Inflammation (E.g. Vasculitis)

Abnormal blood flow:
- Stagnation
- Turbulence

Abnormalities of blood components:
- Smokers
- Post partum
- Post op


Describe the appearance of an arterial thrombus

Lines of Zahn
Lower cell content


What are lines of Zahn?

Appear in an arterial thrombus

Fast flowing blood produces a laminar structure in the thrombus

Lighter areas have lower red cell content

Darker areas have picked up more red cells


Describe the appearance of a venous thrombus

Deep red
Higher cell content


What are the outcomes possible after thrombus formation?



Describe lysis of a thrombus

Complete dissolution of the thrombus

The fibrinolytic system is activated and bloodflow re-established

This is most likely when thrombi are small


Describe propagation of a thrombus

Stagnant blood present around the thrombus (distally in arteries and proximal in veins) can lead to the formation of a new thrombus

Tributaries into veins proximal to a thrombus create turbulent blood flow which is also at risk of thrombus formation


Describe organisation of a thrombus

A reparative process comprising of the ingrowth of fibroblasts and capillaries (similar to granulation tissue) into the lumen of the occluded vessel where the thrombus is present

Lumen remains obstructed after this process occurs


Describe recanalisation of a thrombus

Similar to organisation however one or more channels are developed in the organising tissue to partially re-establish bloodflow


Describe embolism of a thrombus

Thrombo-embolisms are formed when part of the thrombus breaks off to form an embolism

This travels in the bloodstream and lodges at a different site


What are the effects of an arterial thrombosis?

What effects do site and collateral circulation have on the effects of a thrombus?

Can cause Ischaemia or infarction

- If the thrombus is in an end artery such as the retinal artery, bloodflow to the tissues supplied is completely blocked and more severe effects are seen

Collateral circulation:
- Lesser effect present if there is more collateral circulation


What are the effects of a venous thrombosis?

Will cause congestion as blood can enter the tissue but not leave, raising tissue pressure

This may lead to oedema as fluid is forced into the interstium

Further raising pressure may lead to tissue pressure equalling arterial pressure at which point blood flow stops

This can lead to ischaemia and infarction


Define embolism

The blockage of a blood vessel by a solid, liquid or gas at a site distant to its origin


What are some of the different types of embolism?

Thrombo-embolism (90%)
Amniotic fluid
Gaseous nitrogen (the bends)
Medical equipment
Tumour cells
Septic tissue


Give 4 common locations for thrombus formation and where any emboli from these thrombi would travel

Thrombus in the systemic veins will give off emboli that will lodge in the lungs (pulmonary emboli)

Thrombus in the heart will pass via the aorta into the systemic arteries (renal, mesenteric etc)

Thrombus in the atheromatous carotid will pass into the cerebral arteries (TIA or stroke)

Thrombus from the atheromatous abdominal aorta will pass into arteries in the legs


What are the pre-disposing factors to deep vein thrombosis?

Immobility/bed rest
Pregnancy and post-partum
Oral contraceptives
Severe burns
Cardiac failure
Disseminated cancer


How can risk of deep vein thrombosis be reduced?

High risk patients are identified and then:
- Heparin can be given subcutaneously
- Leg compression before and after surgury (thrombo-embolic deterrent stocking)


How can deep vein thrombosis be treated?

Intravenous heparin
Oral warfarin
Filter can be placed in the inferior vena cavae


Give the effects of a massive pulmonary embolism and how 'massive' is defined

Massive defined by reduction of >60% of blood flow

Rapidly fatal


Give the effects of a major and minor pulmonary embolism

- Medium sized vessel occluded
- Patients short of breath and may cough up blood stained sputum

- Small peripheral pulmonary artery blockage
- Often asymptomatic or minor shortness of breath


What is the effect of recurrent minor pulmonary emboli?

Can lead to pulmonary hypertension as progressively more and more of the pulmonary circulation is blocked


What is a common cause of fat embolism?

Where might this embolism end up?

Breakage of a bone, where fat leaks from a bone into the bloodstream

Commonly ends up in the cerebral circulation (can cause confusion) or lungs (can cause shortness of breath)


What is the effect of Disseminated intravascular coagulation on the body?

Explain how these seemingly opposite effects occur as a result of this condition

DIC disregulates coagulation and fibrinolysis causing widespread clotting and bleeding

The excessive clotting that occurs depletes thrombin, raising prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time

Platelets and plasma fibrinogen are also depleted

This in turn raises clotting time and leads to bleeding


How can disseminated intravascular coagulation be treated?

Treatment of the underlying cause is the only effective treatment

However, to manage the patient short term:
- Anti-coagulants can be given in acutely ill patients
- Platelets and plasma can be transfused to replenish platelets and clotting factors


Give examples of conditions that may cause disseminated intravascular coagulation

This card lists only a few examples, there are others

Cancers (particularly lung, prostate, stomach)

Massive tissue injury (trauma, burns, hypothermia)

Bacterial, fungal or protozoal infections

Liver disease

Obstetric complications


What is the inheritance pattern of Haemophilia?

X-linked recessive


What are the main clinical features of Haemophilia ?

Due to nonsense point mutations

Can be mild, moderate or severe depending on mutation

Deficiency in clotting factor VIII (type A) or IX (type B)

Leads to increased clotting time and hence excessive bleeding

Internal and external bleeding episodes can occur after trauma or surgery

Haemorrhage into the joints can also occur (painful)

Muscle bleeding can cause pressure and necrosis of nerves (painful)

Can haemorrhage into the retroperitoneum/urinary tract


What are the laboratory findings of someone with Haemophilia A?

Complete blood count is normal (may be lowered if patient has experienced excessive bleeding)

Activated partial thromboplastin time is increased (reflects the lower level of Factor VIII)

Prothrombin time is normal

Fibrinogen test is normal

Levels of factor VIII will be lower than 50% when assayed


How is Haemophilia A treated?

Best treated through injection of additional clotting factor


Give a complication of Heamophilia A treatment

Immune rejection of the injected clotting factors may occur


What is thrombocytopenia?

What are some of the possible causes?

A condition in which platelet count is lowered in the blood

Bone marrow doesn't make enough platelets:
-Cancer (E.g. leukaemia)
-Viral infection
-Toxic chemicals

Body destroys platelets:
- Autoimmune disease (Immune thrombocytopenia)
- Medicines
- Infections
- Surgery
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation

Splenic sequestration:
- Enlarged spleen due to cancer or serious liver disease (E.g. Cirrhosis) can lead to an increased proportion of platelets being stored in the spleen and hence lowering intravascular levels


How is thrombocytopenia treated?

Often resolved when underlying cause is treated (E.g. The causative infection being treated)

If Severe:
- Medicines such as corticosteroids may slow platelet destruction
- Blood or platelet transfusions can be used to treat those actively bleeding or at high risk of bleeding
- Splenectomy in worst case scenario to prevent platelets being stored in the spleen


What are some of the common symptoms of thrombocytopenia?

Mild to serious internal and external bleeding

Purpura (bruises) and petechiae (red or purple dots on the skin)


How might a cerebral embolism come about?

What conditions may result?

Atrial fibrillation causing blood stasis and thrombus formation

Thrombus embolises to the cerebral circulation

Can cause stroke or transient ischaemic attacks


What is an iatrogenic embolism?

Embolism due to medical treatment E.g. Medical equipment or injection of air