BACKGROUND/AIMS: Esophageal variceal bleeding in liver cirrhosis is a major complication and has high mortality rate. We tried to find fibrinolytic parameters, which correlated with variceal bleeding in cirrhotic patients. METHODS: We divided the cirrhotic patients into two groups: bleeding group (group A, n=15) and non-bleeding group (Group B, n=17). Fibrinolytic parameters (fibrinogen, D-dimer, plasminogen, tissue plasminogen activator [t-PA], fibrin degradation product [FDP], and plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 [PAI-1]) were compared between two groups. In the group A, serial samplings were taken at the initial period, 3 days, 8 days, 15 days and 6 weeks after the bleeding onset. RESULTS: Plasma levels of FDP and D-dimer in the group A were significantly higher than the group B (1.7 +/- 1.16 vs. 0.95 +/- 1.27 mg/L and 10.96 +/- 6.58 vs. 4.99 +/- 3.50 micro gram/mL, respectively, p value<0.05). The clinical, biochemical, and coagulation parameters didn't show significant differences in both groups. The fibrinolytic parameters were improved along with the hemodynamic stabilization in group A. CONCLUSIONS: Cirrhotic patients with increased fibrinolytic activity were at higher risk of bleeding. Thus, the measurement of these parameters would be useful to identify patients at higher risk of esophageal variceal bleeding.