Impact-R and Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

Impact-R, a cone and plate analyzer can detect defects in platelet adhesion and aggregation. It can be of use in research about DIC.

What is Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation?

DIC is pathological activation of coagulation mechanisms in response to a variety of substances seen in disease states. Activation of coagulation causes blood clots to form in the small blood vessels of most organs in the body. This has two effects: disruption of blood flow to the organs whose blood vessels have small blood clots resulting in malfunction of the organ; and consumption of blood clotting factors and platelets resulting in bleeding elsewhere in the body.

Normally, the human body is maintained in homeostasis, a balance of coagulation and fibrinolysis, with both processes counterchecking each other through feedback mechanisms. In DIC, these mechanisms are dysregulated. A critical component in the triggering mechanism is tissue factor or TF, also known as platelet tissue factor or Factor III. It is found in subendothelial tissue, platelets and leukocytes. TF is released in response to cytokines, tumor necrosis factor, and endotoxin.

DIC can be caused by many conditions. These include malignancies, obstetrics, trauma, infections, toxins and poisons. These conditions trigger the release of tissue factor and subsequently activate the extrinsic pathway of coagulation.

The role of Impact-R in Research

Since tissue factor can be found in platelets, addition of substances that release tissue factor to platelets will result in coagulation. Impact-R can be used to determine which substances can elicit release of tissue factor.

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