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Can Activation of Coagulation and Impairment of Fibrinolysis in Patients With Anxiety and Depression Be Reversed After Improvement of Psychiatric Symptoms?: Results of a Pilot Study

Geiser, Franziska MD*; Gessler, Katharina MD*; Conrad, Rupert MD*; Imbierowicz, Katrin MD*; Albus, Christian MD; Harbrecht, Ursula MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: August 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 8 - p 721–723
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182613fa5
Brief Reports

Anxiety and depression are associated with an activation of coagulation and impairment of fibrinolysis. This study addresses the question whether these findings are reversed after psychotherapy and improvement of psychiatric symptoms. Three factors of coagulation and fibrinolysis as well as level of anxiety and depression were reassessed in 12 patients 1 to 3 years after intensive inpatient psychotherapy. The patients showed a substantial improvement of their severe anxiety disorder and comorbid depressive disorder. Simultaneously, we found a significant decrease in factor VII and plasminogen activator inhibitor. We conclude that reduction of severe anxiety and depression may be associated with a reversal of the procoagulant effect (activation of coagulation and impairment of fibrinolysis) of these psychological states. Because of the small sample size of this pilot study, further research is needed.

*Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Bonn; †Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University of Cologne; and ‡Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Experimental Hematology, University of Bonn, Germany.

Send reprint requests to Franziska Geiser, MD, Klinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, D-53105 Bonn, Germany. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.