Gallium nitrate induces fibrinogen flocculation: an explanation for its hemostatic effect?
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A novel hemostatic effect of gallium nitrate has recently been discovered. Our aim was to perform a preliminary investigation into its mode of action. Thromboelastography® showed no effect on coagulation but pointed instead to changes in fibrinogen concentration. We measured functional fibrinogen in whole blood after addition of gallium nitrate and nitric acid. We found that gallium nitrate induces fibrinogen precipitation in whole blood to a significantly higher degree than solutions of nitric acid alone. This precipitate is not primarily pH driven, and appears to occur via flocculation. This behavior is in line with the generally observed ability of metals to induce fibrinogen precipitation. Further investigation is required into this novel phenomenon.