Venous Thrombosis

Rudolf Virchow

The German scientist Rudolf Virchow postulated that formation of unwanted blood clots in the legs (venous thrombosis) resulted from a combination of changes in blood flow, changes in the blood vessel wall and changes in the blood. Our experiments investigate how changes in endothelial and smooth muscle cells (blood vessel wall) and coagulability of the blood (changes in platelet aggregation) are altered by estrogen. Changes in the diameter of a blood vessel such as a vein will affect blood flow which in turn releases factors from endothelial cells which affect coagulation, thus interconnecting a triangle of effects known as Virchow's triad (see Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 12:204-209, 2001.)

Virchow's triad