Thrombosis is a dangerous complication of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and has a high mortality rate. However, the mechanism underlying the development of thrombosis in PNH remains unclear. To explore this, platelet function and serum complement activity were investigated in 14 patients with classical PNH, 11 with PNH aplastic anemia (AA) and 30 healthy controls.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
Serum concentrations of the terminal complement complex (sC5b-9) were determined by enzyme-linked immunofluorescence assay (ELISA), and the levels of C5b-9, CD61 and CD62p on platelet membranes were determined by flow cytometry. Clinical parameters were assessed, including D-dimer and platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and arachidonic acid (ARA).
Serum sC5b-9 concentrations were significantly lower in the PNH/PNH-AA than in the control group (P<0.01). C5b-9 deposition was significantly higher on CD59- platelets than on CD59+ platelets in PNH/PNH-AA patients and healthy controls (P<0.01 for each). D-dimer concentration was significantly higher in PNH/PNH-AA patients - especially those with lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentrations>1000U/L - than in controls (P<0.05). CD61 (P<0.05) expression was lower on CD59+ platelets in PNH than in controls and CD5- platelets in PNH. Expression of CD62p (P<0.01) was lower on CD59- and CD59+ platelets (P<0.01) in PNH cases than in controls. Platelet aggregation stimulated by the agonists ADP and ARA in the PNH/PNH-AA patients was significantly lower than that in controls (P<0.05).
The adhesion and aggregation of platelets, especially of CD59+ platelets, were compensatively decreased in PNH/PNH-AA patients without active thrombosis.