1Gastroenterology Department, AOU Careggi Regional Referral Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Florence, Italy.
2Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence and Patologia Medica Unit, AOU Careggi, Florence, Italy.
Inflammatory bowel disease affects more than 2 million people in Europe, with almost 20% of patients being diagnosed in pediatric age. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are at increased risk of thromboembolic complications which may affect patients' morbidity and mortality. The risk of the most common thromboembolic events, such as deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, are estimated to be three-fold increased compared to controls, but many other districts can be affected. Moreover, patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease experience thromboembolic events at a younger age compared to general population. Many factors have been investigated as determinants of the pro-thrombotic tendency such as acquired risk factors or genetic and immune abnormalities, but a unique cause has not been found. Many efforts have been focused on the study of abnormalities in the coagulation cascade, its natural inhibitors and the fibrinolytic system components and both quantitative and qualitative alterations have been demonstrated. Recently the role of platelets and microvascular endothelium has been reviewed, as the possible link between the inflammatory and hemostatic process.