Is IBD making blood clots more likely?


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The study will look at the chemicals produced in IBD - and whether they're leading to changes in the molecules responsible for blood clotting.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease is characterised by an increased risk in clotting, the causes of which are poorly understood

Dr Paul Ames, Queen Mary University of London

What is this research looking at?

The aim of the research is to study fibrinogen, and try and understand its role in IBD. Fibrinogen is the most abundant clotting factor in the blood – the more fibrinogen in the blood, the more likely it is to clot. A clot forms when fibrinogen changes from its soluble strand like format into an insoluble mesh-like format.

In long term inflammatory diseases, the level of fibrinogen is higher than usual, and can undergo modifications which may make it less soluble and more likely to clot. In IBD, there is an increased risk of blood clotting, of which the causes are poorly understood.

Researchers have suggested that the chemicals produced in IBD could be changing the structure of fibrinogen. This study will look for the presence of altered fibrinogen in IBD patients with high and low disease activity. Researchers hope that the data from this study will be used to explore any relationship between the altered fibrinogen and the occurrence of thrombosis, and also the relation between fibrinogen and disease activity in IBD.

Conclusions: This is an ongoing study.

What do researchers think this could this mean for people with IBD? 

If the study finds that modified fibrinogen is present, the data obtained will be used to inform a larger study exploring the relationship between altered fibrinogen and thrombosis (blood clotting) in IBD patients, and the relationship between levels of fibrinogen and the severity of IBD.

Who is leading the research: Dr Paul Ames, Queen Mary University of London

Our funding: £4,000 for 6 months

Official title of the application: "Acquired Prothrombotic Dysfibrinogenaemia in inflammatory bowel disease - a pilot study."

Tags: Complications of IBD