High prevalence of reduced thrombin generation and/or decreased platelet response in women with unexplained heavy menstrual bleeding

H. P. Eising, M. Roest, P. G. de Groot, D. Huskens, J. Konings, R. T. Urbanus, B. de Laat, J. A. Remijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) is a condition that affects 20%-30% of women of reproductive age. HMB has a multifactorial pathophysiology, which is incompletely understood. HMB symptoms are very common in patients with established haemostasis defects, likewise, women with heavy menstrual bleeding have a higher prevalence of impaired Von Willebrand factor (VWF) levels and function, thrombocytopenia, impaired platelet function and impaired coagulation. The aim of this study was to quantify the prevalence of impaired platelet function, impaired coagulation and reduced VWF activity in patients with HMB. Methods: We have used thrombin generation (TG), a flow cytometry-based platelet function test and a flow cytometry-based VWF function test to study haemostasis in 58 women (median age: 48.4 years, range 40-60 years) with HMB. In addition, we determined VWF antigen levels and VWF ristocetin co-factor activity in platelet-poor plasma. Reference ranges of platelet function were measured in whole blood of 123 healthy volunteers, while reference ranges of TG were determined in platelet-poor plasma (PPP) of 126 healthy volunteers. Results: Fourteen (24%) patients with HMB had impaired platelet function and 17 (29.3%) patients had impaired coagulation. Five patients (8.6%) had both impaired platelet function and impaired coagulation. Only 2 (3.4%) patients had an impaired VWF function or levels; one of them was in combination with impaired coagulation. Conclusion: Our approach in women with HMB using a high precision platelet function test in combination with thrombin generation showed impaired coagulation or impaired platelet function in more than 40% of the patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-275
JournalInternational journal of laboratory hematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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