The frequent serious bleeding and thrombotic complications in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) are major causes of early mortality, but the complex mechanisms causing the bleeding have not been completely elucidated. Because microparticles (MPs) are known to be elevated in thromboembolic disorders, we hypothesized a role for MPs in the pathogenesis of coagulopathy in APL. MPs were isolated from 30 APL patients and 20 healthy subjects and from cultured NB4/APL cells. The morphology of the MPs was examined, and they were quantified and analyzed for their thrombin-generating potential. We confirmed the existence of promyelocytic-derived MPs by morphology using transmission electron microscopy and laser scanning confocal microscopy. Counts of MPs in APL were elevated and were typically from promyelocytic cells (CD33(+) TF(+) MPs). Importantly, the CD33(+) MPs strongly correlated with patient leukocyte count (R = 0.64, p = 0.002) and D-dimer (R = 0.51, p = 0.0038). Moreover, the MPs from patients with APL decreased the coagulation times and induced thrombin generation. APL MP-associated thrombin generation was reduced by 54 % when the extrinsic pathway was blocked using an anti-human tissue factor (TF) antibody. However, neither anti-factor XI nor anti-tissue factor pathway inhibitor had any significant inhibitory effect. Our results show that the procoagulant state in APL is partially due to the TF-dependent procoagulant properties of circulating promyelocytic-derived MPs. TF(+) MPs may be a novel potential risk factor for coagulopathy in APL.