Thrombin generation assay as a biomarker of cardiovascular outcomes and mortality: A narrative review


      • Measure the thrombin generation in CVDs may add knowledge of the pathophysiological process and suggest a way to prevention.
      • The relation between thrombin generation and CVDs and mortality is poorly explored and the results are still inconsistent.
      • Despite the lack of standardization that makes the use of TGA in clinical practice difficult, it can be a risk biomarker.
      • In the acute phase of CVDs, a prothrombotic profile is observed and in the chronic phase there seems to be a normalization.


      Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are currently the leading cause of death worldwide. Therefore, there is interest in the search for cardiovascular risk markers that contribute to the early diagnosis, monitoring and prevention of cardiovascular events. Considering that CVDs present in their pathophysiology a strong interaction between inflammation and hemostasis, thrombin, a key enzyme in the clotting process can be thought as a possible biomarker of cardiovascular risk. The thrombin generation assay (TGA) by the Calibrated Automated Thrombogram (CAT) method has been used in numerous prospective studies. It is a relatively recent laboratory tool capable of globally evaluating the functioning of the hemostatic system through the determination of thrombin generation for investigating the contribution of procoagulants and natural anticoagulants, in addition to the effect of different drugs and a range of factors that interfere in this system. The analysis of thrombin generation can be a promising tool for estimating the risk of thrombotic diseases, although the association of TGA with arterial thrombosis has only recently attracted interest and remains to be better understood. The association between thrombin generation and cardiovascular events, especially acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke, all-cause and cardiovascular mortality is still poorly investigated and the results are often inconsistent. Assessing the relationship between TGA and CVDs may not only contribute to increasing knowledge of the pathophysiological process that leads to coronary and cerebrovascular diseases, but may also suggest a new approach to prevention. In this article we review and summarize the results of the main studies that evaluated whether TGA parameters were associated with cardiovascular events, cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality. Possible contributing factors to the observed inconsistencies were also speculated.


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