As the biochemical mechanisms of hypercoagulable states are revealed, the syndromes of venous thromboembolism have been increasingly associated with specific aberrations. Most of these changes involve an increase in procoagulant potential, for example, by activation of the coagulation cascade, or by a defect or decrease in natural inhibitors of clotting. Similar abnormalities of the fibrinolytic pathways may contribute, as can loss of inhibitory mechanisms of endothelial cells, as well as changes in vascular anatomy and rheologic patterns of blood flow. All of these factors can directly influence thrombus formation and/or the physiologic response to the thrombus.
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