Recombinant C1-inhibitor: effects on coagulation and fibrinolysis in patients with hereditary angioedema

BACKGROUND: Recombinant human C1-inhibitor (rhC1INH; Ruconest) has been developed for treatment of acute angioedema attacks in patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE) due to heterozygous deficiency of C1INH. Previous reports suggest that administration of plasma-derived C1INH products may be associated with an increased risk for thromboembolic complications.

OBJECTIVES: Our aim is to evaluate the effects of rhC1INH on coagulation and fibrinolysis in symptomatic HAE patients.

METHODS: Levels of various coagulation and fibrinolytic parameters were determined in pre- and post-exposure plasma samples from HAE patients included in a randomized clinical trial. Patients were treated with either saline, or 50 or 100U/kg rhC1INH for an acute angioedema attack.

RESULTS: Prior to rhC1INH treatment, the majority of patients had low to normal activated partial thromboplastin times (aPTT) and increased levels of prothrombin fragment 1+2, thrombin-antithrombin complexes, D-dimers and plasmin-antiplasmin complexes, all of which indicate activation of both coagulation and fibrinolysis. Infusion of rhC1INH at doses up to 100U/kg did not affect these parameters except for a dose-dependent prolongation of aPTT, confirming that rhC1INH is an inhibitor of the contact system, and that F1+2 levels decreased.

CONCLUSION: Coagulation and fibrinolytic systems are activated in HAE patients suffering from an acute angioedema attack. Treatment with rhC1INH at 50 or 100U/kg had no effect on parameters reflecting activation of these systems except for a significant effect on aPTT, which likely reflects a pharmacodynamic effect of rhC1INH, and a reduction on plasma levels of the prothrombin activation fragment F1+2. We conclude that these results argue against a prothrombotic effect of treatment with this rhC1INH product in HAE patients.

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