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Keywords:

  • blood clotting;
  • mercury;
  • hemostasis

Abstract

Changes in blood coagulation system were studied in humans that were occupationally exposed to mercuric vapors. The following parameters were analyzed: mercury concentration in plasma, thrombin generation, thrombin-antithrombin complexes, soluble fibrin monomers, factor XIII, protein C, platelet factor 4, and β-thromboglobulin. There was statistically significant increase in the activity of factor XIII, concentration of platelet factor 4 and thrombin generation in plasma of workers exposed to mercuric vapors as compared with unexposed controls. There was also an increase in thrombin-antithrombin complexes and β-thromboglobulin concentration accompanied by a decrease in protein C activity in the workers exposed to mercury. However, the last differences were not statistically significant. The data suggest that in humans exposed to mercuric vapors the hemostatic balance is shifted on the hypercoagulative side. J. Trace Elem. Exp. Med. 15:21–29, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.