* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received June 14, 2001; Revision received August 9, 2001
This review summarizes basic properties and mechanisms of activation and inhibition of main components of the fibrinolytic system that, acting in accord with the system of blood coagulation, provides temporal formation of fibrin clots at sites of vascular injury for the time required for the regeneration of vascular wall. Impairments in the fibrinolytic system may cause bleedings or thrombotic complications in patients. The predictive value of some components of the fibrinolytic system with respect to the development of complications of atherothrombosis is considered.
KEY WORDS: plasminogen activators, inhibitors of fibrinolysis, thrombosis, risk factors, cardiovascular diseases