Blood coagulation pathways in vivo showing the central role played by thrombin
The thrombin time (TT), also known as the thrombin clotting time (TCT) is a blood test that measures the time it takes for a clot to form in the plasma of a blood sample containing anticoagulant, after an excess of thrombin has been added.It is used to diagnose blood coagulation disorders and to assess the effectiveness of fibrinolytic therapy. This test is repeated with pooled plasma from normal patients. The difference in time between the test and the 'normal' indicates an abnormality in the conversion of fibrinogen (a soluble protein) to fibrin, an insoluble protein.
The thrombin time compares the rate of clot formation to that of a sample of normal pooled plasma. Thrombin is added to the samples of plasma. If the time it takes for the plasma to clot is prolonged, a quantitative (fibrinogen deficiency) or qualitative (dysfunctional fibrinogen) defect is present.In blood samples containing heparin, a substance derived from snake venom called batroxobin (formerly reptilase) is used instead of thrombin. Batroxobin has a similar action to thrombin but unlike thrombin it is not inhibited by heparin.
Normal values for thrombin time are 12 to 14 seconds.If batroxobin is used, the time should be between 15 and 20 seconds. Thrombin time can be prolonged by heparin, fibrin degradation products, and fibrinogen deficiency or abnormality.
After separating the plasma from the whole blood by centrifugation, bovine thrombin is added to the sample of plasma. Clot formation is detected optically or mechanically by a coagulation instrument. The time between the addition of the thrombin and the clot formation is recorded as the thrombin clotting time.[ citation needed ]
Whole blood is taken with either citrate or oxalate additive (if using the vacutainer system, this is a light blue top tube). As with other coagulation assays, the tube must not be over- or under-filled in order to ensure the correct anticoagulant-to-blood ratio: one part anticoagulant per nine parts blood.[ citation needed ]
The reference ranges of the thrombin clotting time is generally <22 seconds,and from 14 to 16 seconds. Laboratories usually calculate their own ranges, based on the method used and the results obtained from healthy individuals from the local population. Separate ranges are used for infants.
Blood samples that are more than eight hours old can give inaccurate results when tested.
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.
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.
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.
Fibrinogen is a glycoprotein complex, made in the liver, that circulates in the blood of all vertebrates. During tissue and vascular injury, it is converted enzymatically by thrombin to fibrin and then to a fibrin-based blood clot. Fibrin clots function primarily to occlude blood vessels to stop bleeding. Fibrin also binds and reduces the activity of thrombin. This activity, sometimes referred to as antithrombin I, limits clotting. Fibrin also mediates blood platelet and endothelial cell spreading, tissue fibroblast proliferation, capillary tube formation, and angiogenesis and thereby promotes revascularization and wound healing.
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.
The prothrombin time (PT) – along with its derived measures of prothrombin ratio (PR) and international normalized ratio (INR) – are assays evaluating the extrinsic pathway and common pathway of coagulation. This blood test is also called protime INR and PT/INR. They are used to determine the clotting tendency of blood, in the measure of warfarin dosage, liver damage, and vitamin K status. PT measures the following coagulation factors: I (fibrinogen), II (prothrombin), V (proaccelerin), VII (proconvertin), and X.
The partial thromboplastin time (PTT) or activated partial thromboplastin time is a blood test that characterizes coagulation of the blood. A historical name for this measure is the kaolin-cephalin clotting time (KCCT), reflecting kaolin and cephalin as materials historically used in the test. Apart from detecting abnormalities in blood clotting, partial thromboplastin time is also used to monitor the treatment effect of heparin, a widely prescribed drug that reduces blood's tendency to clot.
Mixing studies are tests performed on blood plasma of patients or test subjects to distinguish factor deficiencies from factor inhibitors, such as lupus anticoagulant, or specific factor inhibitors, such as antibodies directed against factor VIII. The basic purpose of these tests is to determine the cause of prolongation of Prothrombin Time (PT), Partial Thromboplastin Time, or sometimes of thrombin time (TT). Mixing studies take advantage of the fact that factor levels that are 50 percent of normal should give a normal Prothrombin time (PT) or Partial thromboplastin time (PTT) result. Factor deficient plasmas are used in mixing studies. Plasma with known factor deficiencies are commercially available but are very expensive, so they are often prepared in the laboratory and can then be used for mixing experiments.
Lupus anticoagulant is an immunoglobulin that binds to phospholipids and proteins associated with the cell membrane. Its name is a misnomer, as it is actually a prothrombotic antibody. Lupus anticoagulant in living systems cause an increase in inappropriate blood clotting. The name derives from their properties in vitro, as these antibodies increase laboratory coagulation tests such as the aPTT. Investigators speculate that the antibodies interfere with phospholipids used to induce in vitro coagulation. In vivo, the antibodies are thought to interact with platelet membrane phospholipids, increasing adhesion and aggregation of platelets, which accounts for the in vivo prothrombotic characteristics.
Hirudin is a naturally occurring peptide in the salivary glands of blood-sucking leeches that has a blood anticoagulant property. This is fundamental for the leeches’ alimentary habit of hematophagy, since it keeps the blood flowing after the initial phlebotomy performed by the worm on the host’s skin.
Dilute Russell's viper venom time (dRVVT) is a laboratory test often used for detection of lupus anticoagulant (LA).
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.
Batroxobin, also known as reptilase, is a snake venom enzyme with Venombin A activity produced by Bothrops atrox and Bothrops moojeni, venomous species of pit viper found east of the Andes in South America. It is a hemotoxin which acts as a serine protease similarly to thrombin, and has been the subject of many medical studies as a replacement of thrombin. Different enzymes, isolated from different species of Bothrops, have been called batroxobin, but unless stated otherwise, this article covers the batroxobin produced by B. moojeni, as this is the most studied variety.
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 lysis 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.
Clotting time is the time required for a sample of blood to coagulate in vitro under standard conditions.
A coagulation screen is a combination of screening laboratory tests, designed to provide rapid non-specific information, which allows an initial broad categorization of haemostatic problems.
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.
Thrombodynamics test is a method for blood coagulation monitoring and anticoagulant control. This test is based on imitation of coagulation processes occurring in vivo, is sensitive both to pro- and anticoagulant changes in the hemostatic balance. Highly sensitive to thrombosis.
Kaolin clotting time (KCT) is a sensitive test to detect lupus anticoagulants. There is evidence that suggests it is the most sensitive test for detecting lupus anticoagulants. It can also detect factor VIII inhibitors but is sensitive to unfractionated heparin as well.
The haemostatic system involves the interaction of proteins in the blood, the blood vessel wall and the flow of blood to control bleeding and blood clotting. Developmental Haemostasis is a term that represents the maturation of the haemostatic system from birth to adulthood. There are differences in the concentration, structure and activity of many proteins involved in blood clotting. These changes play an important role in physiological development and are important in providing appropriate diagnosis and treatment of bleeding and clotting disorders. The age-specific differences in the blood clotting system may contribute to the fact that children are less prone to developing thrombosis compared to adults.