Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the commonest sustained cardiac arrhythmia, which is associated with a substantial risk of stroke and thromboembolism. A prothrombotic or hypercoagulable state has been observed in these patients, although previous studies have mainly focused on various clotting factors, endothelial damage or dysfunction markers and platelet activation. However, fibrinolytic function has been less frequently studied, despite the fibrinolytic system playing an important role in preventing intravascular thrombosis. Indeed, increasing evidence suggests that an imbalance between the fibrinolytic function is of great importance in cardiovascular disease. This review will begin by providing a brief approach to fibrinolytic function and examine previous studies about fibrinolytic activity and atrial fibrillation. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
- plasminogen activator inhibitor
- atrial fibrillation
- fibrinolytic function
- tissue-type plasminogen activator