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Other namesBleeding disorder
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Coagulopathy (also called a bleeding disorder) is a condition in which the blood’s ability to coagulate (form clots) is impaired. [1] This condition can cause a tendency toward prolonged or excessive bleeding (bleeding diathesis), which may occur spontaneously or following an injury or medical and dental procedures.[ citation needed ] Of note, coagulopathies are sometimes erroneously referred to as "clotting disorders"; a clotting disorder is a predisposition to clot formation (thrombus), also known as a hypercoagulable state or thrombophilia.


Signs and symptoms

Coagulopathy may cause uncontrolled internal or external bleeding. Left untreated, uncontrolled bleeding may cause damage to joints, muscles, or internal organs and may be life-threatening. People should seek immediate medical care for serious symptoms, including heavy external bleeding, blood in the urine or stool, double vision, severe head or neck pain, repeated vomiting, difficulty walking, convulsions, or seizures. They should seek prompt medical care if they experience mild but unstoppable external bleeding or joint swelling and stiffness.[ citation needed ]


Platelets Platelets2.JPG

The normal clotting process depends on the interplay of various proteins in the blood. Coagulopathy may be caused by reduced levels or absence of blood-clotting proteins, known as clotting factors or coagulation factors. Genetic disorders, such as hemophilia and Von Willebrand disease, can cause a reduction in clotting factors. [2]

Anticoagulants such as warfarin will also prevent clots from forming properly. [2] Coagulopathy may also occur as a result of dysfunction or reduced levels of platelets (small disk-shaped bodies in the bloodstream that aid in the clotting process).[ citation needed ]

Acute traumatic coagulopathy

In 2003, Karim Brohi, Professor of Trauma Sciences at Queen Mary University of London, first introduced the term Acute Traumatic Coagulopathy (ATC) [3] , establishing that coagulopathy induced by trauma results in:


PT and PTT are good tools to check for coagulopathies


If someone has coagulopathy, their health care provider may help them manage their symptoms with medications or replacement therapy. In replacement therapy, the reduced or absent clotting factors are replaced with proteins derived from human blood or created in the laboratory. This therapy may be given either to treat bleeding that has already begun or to prevent bleeding from occurring.[ citation needed ]

Critical care

One area of treatment is managing people with major bleeding in a critical setting, like an emergency department. [1] In these situations, the common treatment is transfusing a combination of red cells with one of the following options:[ citation needed ]

The use of tranexamic acid is the only option that is currently supported by a large, randomized, controlled clinical trial, and is given to people with major bleeding after trauma. [4] There are several possible risks to treating coagulopathies, such as transfusion-related acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, major hemorrhage, and venous thromboembolism.

Laboratory findings in various platelet and coagulation disorders[ citation needed ]
Condition Prothrombin time Partial thromboplastin time Bleeding time Platelet count
Vitamin K deficiency or warfarin ProlongedNormal or mildly prolongedUnaffectedUnaffected
Disseminated intravascular coagulation ProlongedProlongedProlongedDecreased
Von Willebrand disease UnaffectedProlonged or unaffectedProlongedUnaffected
Haemophilia UnaffectedProlongedUnaffectedUnaffected
Aspirin UnaffectedUnaffectedProlongedUnaffected
Thrombocytopenia UnaffectedUnaffectedProlongedDecreased
Liver failure, earlyProlongedUnaffectedUnaffectedUnaffected
Liver failure, end-stageProlongedProlongedProlongedDecreased
Uremia UnaffectedUnaffectedProlongedUnaffected
Congenital afibrinogenemia ProlongedProlongedProlongedUnaffected
Factor V deficiencyProlongedProlongedUnaffectedUnaffected
Factor X deficiency as seen in amyloid purpura ProlongedProlongedUnaffectedUnaffected
Glanzmann's thrombasthenia UnaffectedUnaffectedProlongedUnaffected
Bernard–Soulier syndrome UnaffectedUnaffectedProlongedDecreased or unaffected
Factor XII deficiency UnaffectedProlongedUnaffectedUnaffected
C1INH deficiency UnaffectedShortenedUnaffectedUnaffected

See also

Related Research Articles

Bleeding Loss of blood escaping from the circulatory system

Bleeding, also known as a hemorrhage or haemorrhage, is blood escaping from the circulatory system from damaged blood vessels. Bleeding can occur internally, or externally either through a natural opening such as the mouth, nose, ear, urethra, vagina or anus, or through a wound in the skin. Hypovolemia is a massive decrease in blood volume, and death by excessive loss of blood is referred to as exsanguination. Typically, a healthy person can endure a loss of 10–15% of the total blood volume without serious medical difficulties. The stopping or controlling of bleeding is called hemostasis and is an important part of both first aid and surgery. The use of cyanoacrylate glue to prevent bleeding and seal battle wounds was designed and first used in the Vietnam War. Today many medical treatments use a medical version of "super glue" instead of using traditional stitches used for small wounds that need to be closed at the skin level.

Anticoagulant class of drugs

Anticoagulants, commonly known as blood thinners, are chemical substances that prevent or reduce coagulation of blood, prolonging the clotting time. Some of them occur naturally in blood-eating animals such as leeches and mosquitoes, where they help keep the bite area unclotted long enough for the animal to obtain some blood. As a class of medications, anticoagulants are used in therapy for thrombotic disorders. Oral anticoagulants (OACs) are taken by many people in pill or tablet form, and various intravenous anticoagulant dosage forms are used in hospitals. Some anticoagulants are used in medical equipment, such as sample tubes, blood transfusion bags, and dialysis equipment. They can also be used as rodenticides.

Thrombus blood clot

A thrombus, colloquially called a blood clot, is the final product of the blood coagulation step in hemostasis. There are two components to a thrombus: aggregated platelets and red blood cells that form a plug, and a mesh of cross-linked fibrin protein. The substance making up a thrombus is sometimes called cruor. A thrombus is a healthy response to injury intended to prevent bleeding, but can be harmful in thrombosis, when clots obstruct blood flow through healthy blood vessels.

Haemophilia B An inherited blood coagulation disease that has material basis in Factor IX deficiency, which makes coagulation much more prolonged. The disease is inherited as an X-linked recessive trait.

Haemophilia B is a blood clotting disorder causing easy bruising and bleeding due to an inherited mutation of the gene for factor IX, and resulting in a deficiency of factor IX. It is less common than factor VIII deficiency.

Coagulation The sequential process in which the multiple coagulation factors of the blood interact, ultimately resulting in the formation of an insoluble fibrin clot; it may be divided into three stages: stage 1, the formation of intrinsic and extrinsic prothrom

Coagulation, also known as clotting, is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a blood clot. It potentially results in hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a damaged vessel, followed by repair. The mechanism of coagulation involves activation, adhesion and aggregation of platelets, as well as deposition and maturation of fibrin.

Blood plasma liquid component of blood

Blood plasma is a yellowish liquid component of blood that holds the blood cells in whole blood in suspension. It is the liquid part of the blood that carries cells and proteins throughout the body. It makes up about 55% of the body's total blood volume. It is the intravascular fluid part of extracellular fluid (all body fluid outside cells). It is mostly water (up to 95% by volume), and contains dissolved proteins (6–8%) (e.g. serum albumins, globulins, and fibrinogen), glucose, clotting factors, electrolytes (Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, HCO3, Cl, etc.), hormones, carbon dioxide (plasma being the main medium for excretory product transportation) and oxygen. It plays a vital role in an intravascular osmotic effect that keeps electrolyte concentration balanced and protects the body from infection and other blood disorders.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation pathological process characterized by the widespread activation of the clotting cascade that results in the formation of blood clots in the small blood vessels throughout the body

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a condition in which blood clots form throughout the body, blocking small blood vessels. Symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, leg pain, problems speaking, or problems moving parts of the body. As clotting factors and platelets are used up, bleeding may occur. This may include blood in the urine, blood in the stool, or bleeding into the skin. Complications may include organ failure.

Fibrinolysis is a process that prevents blood clots from growing and becoming problematic. This process has two types: primary fibrinolysis and secondary fibrinolysis. The primary type is a normal body process, whereas secondary fibrinolysis is the breakdown of clots due to a medicine, a medical disorder, or some other cause.

In medicine (hematology), bleeding diathesis is an unusual susceptibility to bleed (hemorrhage) mostly due to hypocoagulability, in turn caused by a coagulopathy. Therefore, this may result in the reduction of platelets being produced and leads to excessive bleeding. Several types of coagulopathy are distinguished, ranging from mild to lethal. Coagulopathy can be caused by thinning of the skin, such that the skin is weakened and is bruised easily and frequently without any trauma or injury to the body. Also, coagulopathy can be contributed by impaired wound healing or impaired clot formation.

Hypovolemic shock is a medical emergency and an advanced form of hypovolemia due to insufficient amounts of blood and/or fluid inside the human body to let the heart pump enough blood to the body. More specifically, hypovolemic shock occurs when there is decreased intravascular volume to the point of cardiovascular compromise. The hypovolemic shock could be due to severe dehydration through a variety of mechanisms or from blood loss.

Factor VII mammalian protein found in Homo sapiens

Factor VII is one of the proteins that causes blood to clot in the coagulation cascade. It is an enzyme of the serine protease class. A recombinant form of human factor VIIa has U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for uncontrolled bleeding in hemophilia patients. It is sometimes used unlicensed in severe uncontrollable bleeding, although there have been safety concerns. A biosimilar form of recombinant activated factor VII (AryoSeven) is also available, but does not play any considerable role in the market.

Tranexamic acid chemical compound used to treat or prevent blood loss

Tranexamic acid (TXA) is a medication used to treat or prevent excessive blood loss from major trauma, postpartum bleeding, surgery, tooth removal, nosebleeds, and heavy menstruation. It is also used for hereditary angioedema. It is taken either by mouth or injection into a vein.

Fresh frozen plasma

Fresh frozen plasma (FFP) is a blood product made from the liquid portion of whole blood. It is used to treat conditions in which there are low blood clotting factors (INR>1.5) or low levels of other blood proteins. It may also be used as the replacement fluid in plasma exchange. Using ABO compatible plasma, while not required, may be recommended. Use as a volume expander is not recommended. It is given by slow injection into a vein.

Thromboelastography (TEG) is a method of testing the efficiency of blood coagulation. It is a test mainly used in surgery and anesthesiology, although increasingly used in resuscitations in Emergency Departments, intensive care units, and labor and delivery suites. More common tests of blood coagulation include prothrombin time (PT,INR) and partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) which measure coagulation factor function, but TEG also can assess platelet function, clot strength, and fibrinolysis which these other tests cannot.

Hypoprothrombinemia Human disease

Hypoprothrombinemia is a rare blood disorder in which a deficiency in immunoreactive prothrombin, produced in the liver, results in an impaired blood clotting reaction, leading to an increased physiological risk for spontaneous bleeding. This condition can be observed in the gastrointestinal system, cranial vault, and superficial integumentary system, effecting both the male and female population. Prothrombin is a critical protein that is involved in the process of hemostasis, as well as illustrating procoagulant activities. This condition is characterized as an autosomal recessive inheritance congenital coagulation disorder affecting 1 per 2,000,000 of the population, worldwide, but is also attributed as acquired.

Antifibrinolytics are a class of medication that are inhibitors of fibrinolysis. Examples include aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid. These lysine-like drugs interfere with the formation of the fibrinolytic enzyme plasmin from its precursor plasminogen by plasminogen activators which takes place mainly in lysine rich areas on the surface of fibrin. These drugs block the binding sites of the enzymes or plasminogen respectively and thus stop plasmin formation.

The dysfibrinogenemias consist of three types of fibrinogen disorders in which a critical blood clotting factor, fibrinogen, circulates at normal levels but is dysfunctional. Congenital dysfibrinogenemia is an inherited disorder in which one of the parental genes produces an abnormal fibrinogen. This fibrinogen interferes with normal blood clotting and/or lyses of blood clots. The condition therefore may cause pathological bleeding and/or thrombosis. Acquired dysfibrinogenemia is a non-hereditary disorder in which fibrinogen is dysfunctional due to the presence of liver disease, autoimmune disease, a plasma cell dyscrasias, or certain cancers. It is associated primarily with pathological bleeding. Hereditary fibrinogen Aα-Chain amyloidosis is a sub-category of congenital dysfibrinogenemia in which the dysfunctional fibrinogen does not cause bleeding or thrombosis but rather gradually accumulates in, and disrupts the function of, the kidney.

The fibrinolysis system is responsible for removing blood clots. Hyperfibrinolysis describes a situation with markedly enhanced fibrinolytic activity, resulting in increased, sometimes catastrophic bleeding. Hyperfibrinolysis can be caused by acquired or congenital reasons. Among the congenital conditions for hyperfibrinolysis, deficiency of alpha-2-antiplasmin or plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) are very rare. The affected individuals show a hemophilia-like bleeding phenotype. Acquired hyperfibrinolysis is found in liver disease, in patients with severe trauma, during major surgical procedures, and other conditions. A special situation with temporarily enhanced fibrinolysis is thrombolytic therapy with drugs which activate plasminogen, e.g. for use in acute ischemic events or in patients with stroke. In patients with severe trauma, hyperfibrinolysis is associated with poor outcome. Moreover, hyperfibrinolysis may be associated with blood brain barrier impairment, a plasmin-dependent effect due to an increased generation of bradykinin.

Thromboelastometry (TEM), previously named rotational thromboelastography (ROTEG) or rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM), is an established viscoelastic method for hemostasis testing in whole blood. It is a modification of traditional thromboelastography (TEG). TEM investigates the interaction of coagulation factors, their inhibitors, anticoagulant drugs, blood cells, specifically platelets, during clotting and subsequent fibrinolysis. The rheological conditions mimic the sluggish flow of blood in veins. TEM is performed with the ROTEM whole blood analyzer and is an enhancement of thrombelastography, originally described by H. Hartert in 1948.

Congenital hypofibrinogenemia is a rare disorder in which one of the two genes responsible for producing fibrinogen, a critical blood clotting factor, is unable to make a functional fibrinogen glycoprotein because of an inherited mutation. In consequence, liver cells, the normal site of fibrinogen production, make small amounts of this critical coagulation protein, blood levels of fibrinogen are low, and individuals with the disorder may suffer a coagulopathy, i.e. a diathesis or propensity to experience episodes of abnormal bleeding. However, individuals with congenital hypofibringenemia may also suffer episodes of abnormal blood clot formation, i.e. thrombosis. This seemingly paradoxical propensity to develop thrombosis in a disorder causing a decrease in a critical protein for blood clotting may be due to the function of fibrin to promote the lysis or disintegration of blood clots. Lower levels of fibrin may reduce the lysis of early fibrin strand depositions and thereby allow these depositions to develop into clots.


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