An exaggerated hemorrhagic syndrome is a characteristic in acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia (ANLL) and it determines the patient’s outcome. Disseminated intravascular coagulation as a result of a procoagulant factor release and primary hyperfibrinolysis due to plasminogen activators also released by leukemic cells have been implicated in the development of this syndrome. The aim of this work was to evaluate urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) and related parameters of the fibrinolytic system in 14 ANLL patients. Our results showed an increased u-PA concentration in ANLL patients compared to controls [2.63 (1.61-4.62) vs. 0.95 (0.77-1.48) ng/ml, p < 0.01]. u-PA levels correlated positively with tissue-type plasminogen activator. The relevance of the enhancement of u-PA in this clinical setting was supported by the fact that it was the only analytical parameter positively correlated with patient mortality (p < 0.05). Though u-PA levels do not seem to be the determining factor in the development of the hemorrhagic syndrome of ANLL patients, a contributory role of this plasminogen activator is suggested from our results.

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