First published October 1, 1985 - More info
Factor VIII antigen (VIII:CAg) exhibits molecular weight heterogeneity in normal plasma. We have compared the relative quantities of VIII:CAg forms present in normal individuals (n = 22) with VIII:CAg forms in renal dysfunction patients (n = 19) and in patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC; n = 7). In normal plasma, the predominant VIII: CAg form, detectable by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, was of molecular weight 2.4 X 10(5), with minor forms ranging from 8 X 10(4) to 2.6 X 10(5) D. A high proportion of VIII:CAg in renal dysfunction patients, in contrast, was of 1 X 10(5) mol wt. The patients' high 1 X 10(5) mol wt VIII: CAg level correlated with increased concentrations of serum creatinine, F1+2 (a polypeptide released upon prothrombin activation), and with von Willebrand factor. Despite the high proportion of the 1 X 10(5) mol wt VIII:CAg form, which suggests VIII:CAg proteolysis, the ratio of Factor VIII coagulant activity to total VIII:CAg concentration was normal in renal dysfunction patients. These results could be simulated in vitro by thrombin treatment of normal plasma, which yielded similar VIII:CAg gel patterns and Factor VIII coagulant activity to antigen ratios. DIC patients with high F1+2 levels but no evidence of renal dysfunction had an VIII:CAg gel pattern distinct from renal dysfunction patients. DIC patients had elevated concentrations of both the 1 X 10(5) and 8 X 10(4) mol wt VIII:CAg forms. We conclude that an increase in a particular VIII:CAg form correlates with the severity of renal dysfunction. The antigen abnormality may be the result of VIII:CAg proteolysis by a thrombinlike enzyme and/or prolonged retention of proteolyzed VIII:CAg fragments.