Microparticles (MPs) are extracellular vesicles considered to be powerful cellular effectors. They are present in healthy individuals and are elevated in pathological conditions such as inflammatory and neoplastic diseases, and thrombosis. The relationship between venous thromboembolism (VTE) and cancer has been well established. MPs are thought to be a pathogenic connection between the two entities. If confirmed, they could be used as biomarkers.
Our aim was to characterize the MPs in both diseases according to their cellular origin (cellular, endothelial, platelet, leukocyte and those that exhibited mucin 1 on their surface). Functional parameters such as D-dimer (DD) and soluble P-selectin (sPsel) were also studied.
96 patients with idiopathic VTE and 85 with advanced lung, stomach or pancreatic neoplasia were considered. All of them were followed clinically for two years and those who were diagnosed with cancer in the VTE group or those who developed thrombosis in the group of neoplastic patients were excluded from the study. Finally, 82 VTE patients and 68 cancer patients were analyzed.
In our results, we found that total MPs and platelet-derived MPs differentiated both patient groups. Additionally, significantly greater numbers of DD and sPsel (p <0.001) were determined in the VTE group.
The differences found between both groups, taking into account the origin of the MPs, could be caused by the prothrombotic characteristics of the neoplastic group and their sequestration within active clots in the VTE group.