Virally inactivated, high-purity factor XI concentrates are available for treatment of patients with factor XI deficiency. However, preliminary experience indicates that some preparations may be thrombogenic. We evaluated whether a highly purified concentrate produced signs of activation of the coagulation cascade in two patients with severe factor XI deficiency infused before and after surgery. Signs of heightened enzymatic activity of the common pathway of coagulation (elevated plasma levels of prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 and fibrinopeptide A) developed in the early post-infusion period, accompanied by more delayed signs of fibrin formation with secondary hyperfibrinolysis (elevated D-dimer and plasmin-antiplasmin complex). These changes occurred in both patients, but were more severe in the older patient with breast cancer when she underwent surgery, being accompanied by fibrinogen and platelet consumption. There were no concomitant signs of heightened activity of the factor VII-tissue factor mechanism on the factor Xase complex (plasma levels of activated factor VII and of factor IX and X activation peptides did not increase). The observed changes in biochemical markers of coagulation activation indicate that concentrate infusions increased thrombin generation and activity and that such changes were magnified by malignancy and surgery. Because some factor XI concentrates may be thrombogenic, they should be used with caution, especially in patients with other risk factors for thrombosis.

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