Assessing the risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE), particularly when patients are anticoagulated, remains a major challenge largely due to the lack of biomarkers. Blood was sampled from adult VTE patients recruited between January 2018 and September 2020, while receiving therapeutic anticoagulation. Results were compared to 144 healthy subjects (34.7% male, median age 42 years). Overall haemostatic potential (OHP) assay, a spectrophotometric assay, was performed on platelet-poor plasma, in which fibrin formation (triggered by small amounts of thrombin (overall coagulation potential, OCP)) and fibrinolysis (by the addition of thrombin and tissue plasminogen activator (OHP)) are simultaneously measured. Results were obtained from 196 patients (52.6% male, mean age 57.1 years). Compared to healthy subjects, VTE patients displayed significantly higher OCP (39.6 vs 34.5 units, p < 0.001) and OHP (9.3 vs 6.4 units, p < 0.001) as well as lower overall fibrinolytic potential (75.6 v s81.1%, p < 0.001). All 16 VTE recurrences, including 11 unprovoked, occurred above an OCP cut-off of 40th percentile (recurrence rate 4.32/100 patient-years (100PY), 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.39–7.80, p = 0.002). Of 97 patients who subsequently discontinued anticoagulation, all unprovoked VTE recurrences (n = 9) occurred above the 40th OCP percentile (recurrence rate 9.10/100PY, 95% CI 4.74–17.49, p = 0.005) and the 40th OHP percentile (recurrence rate 8.46/100PY, 95% CI 4.40–16.25, p = 0.009). Our pilot study demonstrates that the OHP assay can detect a hypercoagulable and hypofibrinolytic state in anticoagulated VTE patients and may be able to risk stratify VTE recurrence, allowing for more individualised decision on long-term anticoagulation. Further larger prospective studies are required.
- Overall Haemostatic Assay
- VTE recurrence risk stratification