We hypothesized that monocyte procoagulant activity, which includes up-regulation of tissue factor and direct activation of factor X by CD11b, is an activator of coagulation during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), because recent studies have cast doubt on the presumption that the surfaces of CPB activate the intrinsic pathway.
Sequential samples were taken from 17 patients undergoing cardiac surgery.During CPB a significant increase in thrombin-antithrombin complexes occurred (P < 0.0005). Factor XIIa levels increased (P < 0.005) but remained within the normal range. Total monocyte procoagulant activity was measured and a functional assay was developed to detect direct activation of factor X alone. There was a significant increase in total procoagulant activity on circulating monocytes from the start of CPB (P < 0.005) to which direct factor X activation was a major contributor (P < 0.05). Direct activation of factor X was inhibited by CD11b blocking peptides. Using flow cytometry, up-regulation of monocyte CD11b (P < 0.0005), but not up-regulation of tissue factor. was found on circulating monocytes. Monocytes adherent on the oxygenator fibres showed increased CD11b expression (P < 0.0001), but no tissue factor when assessed by fluorescent image analysis.
In conclusion, direct activation of factor X through monocyte CD11b occurs during CPB and appears to contribute to thrombin generation during CPB.