Abstract 5126: Platelet Specific Factor XIII Gene Expression and Embolic Propensity in Atrial Fibrillation
Background and Aim: Cardioembolic stroke from non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) begins with the development of left atrial appendage thrombus (LAAT). Although nearly 15% of patients with NVAF have LAAT by transesophageal echocardiography, the annual stroke rate is 5% on average. The overall aim of this project is to identify variables associated with embolic propensity of LAAT.
Materials and Methods: LAAT specimens were obtained during cardiac surgery (MAZE procedure; n=26). Embolized thrombi (n=51) were obtained during surgical embolectomy from lower (n=36) and upper extremities (n=11) and mesenteric arteries (n=4). Platelet-rich regions within sectioned thrombi were sampled by punch biopsy from which total RNA was extracted and analyzed for expression of 5 platelet specific genes: A1 domain of factor XIII, (F13A1); integrin α2bβ3 (ITGA2B); glycoprotein IX (GP9), platelet factor 4 (PF4), glycoprotein Ib (GP1BB). Gene expression was quantified using TaqMan MGB-probe based quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction normalized to β2 macroglobulin using cDNAs reverse transcribed from total RNA.
Results: Factor XIII gene expression (Figure⇓) was significantly lower in embolic (mean fold change 0.08) compared to left atrial thrombi in situ (mean fold change 0.28; p=0.03). Expression of other genes did not show significant change by embolic status.
Conclusions: Variable Factor XIII gene expression in thrombi generated during NVAF may in part explain the propensity to embolization. Whereas Factor XIII stabilizes thrombi by crosslinking fibrin without influencing atrial attachment, this data suggests that embolization occurs through fragmentation.