This study deals with the question of how blood coagulation, kallikrein and fibrinolytic systems are affected by storage of plasma at +6 degrees C. Blood was collected into citrate phosphate dextrose adenine (CPD) or acid citrate dextrose (ACD) and the plasma samples were stored at +6 degrees C for 35 days. Samples were taken at weekly intervals for assays of various parameters of the different systems. No significant changes were observed in the levels of the main thrombin inhibitor, antithrombin III. At the end of the storage period, however, fibrinopeptide A levels increased markedly, particularly in the ACD plasma, indicating thrombin activation. There was no change in the plasminogen level, but a decrease in the levels of antiplasmin and urokinase inhibitors and an increase in the level of the fibrinogen degradation fragment B beta 15-42 were observed, indicating activation of the fibrinolytic system. The level of antikallikrein activity decreased sharply in ACD plasma; CPD plasma was less affected. This decrease was parallel to the increase in spontaneous proteolytic activity and correlated with the increase in fibrinopeptide A. Prolonged storage of plasma of +6 degrees C thus resulted in the activation of coagulation, fibrinolytic and kallikrein systems and decrease in inhibitors. The activation was much more pronounced in ACD than in CPD plasma.
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