Digital gangrene was observed in a patient who had angiographic findings of digital arterial occlusion. The patient's blood showed a marked red blood cell aggregation with rouleaux formation in long chains, which could not be dispersed at shear rates up to 200 sec-1. Studies of the patient's blood revealed the presence of an abnormal fibrinogen capable of aggregating normal red blood cells. This fibrinogen was found by Raman spectroscopy to have an increased α-helical content, whereas the β-sheet content was decreased. Defibrinogenation therapy with ancrod resulted in a dramatic symptomatic relief. The disappearance of the abnormal fibrinogen 6 months later and an absence of a family history indicate that this dysfibrinogenemia was acquired.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine