We have recently shown that monocyte membrane-associated cross-linked fibrin derivatives (D dimer) can be evidenced by immunogold staining. Using this method, the procoagulant activity (PCA) expressed in vitro by endotoxin-stimulated monocytes has been found to correlate significantly with the number of D dimer-positive monocytes. The incidence of postoperative thrombosis in patients undergoing total knee replacement has been reported by Stulberg et al to be 57%. Since monocytes can play a role, via increased PCA, in the activation of intravascular coagulation, we sought to determine the level of monocyte PCA ex vivo after knee replacement surgery and its possible correlation with the number of D dimer-positive monocytes. Finally, we examined the possible link between these modifications and the occurrence of postoperative deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The PCA expressed by monocytes with or without suboptimal stimulation, the number of D dimer-positive monocytes and the plasma level of D dimer were measured pre- and post-operatively in 11 patients undergoing total knee replacement. Phlebography was performed on day 10 after surgery. A significant increase in the PCA of stimulated monocytes was observed on day 10 after surgery. Moreover, both the number of D dimer-positive monocytes and the plasma level of D dimer increased significantly post-operatively. The number of D dimer-positive monocytes correlated with both monocyte PCA and the plasma D dimer level. The relation between these parameters is discussed. However, neither monocyte PCA nor the number of D dimer-positive monocytes was found to correlate with the occurrence of deep vein thrombosis.