Objective: Increased circulating levels of hemostatic factors have been associated with arterial and venous thrombosis. Although in vitro evidence suggests that glucocorticoids may activate hemostasis and inhibit thrombolysis, no controlled in vivo studies have examined the effects of glucocorticoids on hemostatic factors. We hypothesized that a 5-day treatment course of dexamethasone would increase circulating levels of hemostatic and anti-fibrinolytic factors. Methods: We randomized 24 healthy men ages 19-39 to receive either dexamethasone 3 mg twice daily versus placebo for 5 days. Parameters examined before and after the intervention included: clotting factors VII, VIII, and XI, von Willebrand factor (vWF), D-dimer, PAI-1, soluble CD40-ligand (sCD40-ligand), and fibrinogen. Results: Dexamethasone tended to modestly increase clotting factors levels and fibrinogen without significantly affecting PAI-1, D-dimer or sCD40-ligand. Factor VII increased by a mean of 13% (p = 0.04 versus placebo), factor VIII by 27% (p = 0.0008), factor XI by 6% (p = 0.01), and fibrinogen by 13% (p = 0.05). Conclusions: Glucocorticoids may increase the activity of clotting factors in vivo. This may contribute to the reported increased risk of thrombosis in patients with sustained exposure to glucocorticoids.
- Coagulation factors