Thromboplastin (TPL) is derived from cell membranes and is a mixture of both phospholipids and tissue factor, neither of which are enzymes. Thromboplastin acts on and accelerates the activity of Factor Xa, also known as thrombokinase, aiding blood coagulation through catalyzing the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin. Thromboplastin is found in brain, lung, and other tissues and especially in blood platelets.
Although sometimes used as a synonym for the protein tissue factor (with its official name "Coagulation factor III [thromboplastin, tissue factor]"), this is a misconception. Historically, thromboplastin was a lab reagent, usually derived from placental sources, used to assay prothrombin times (PT).
When manipulated in the laboratory, a derivative could be created called partial thromboplastin. Partial thromboplastin was used to measure the intrinsic pathway. This test is called the aPTT, or activated partial thromboplastin time. It was not until much later that the subcomponents of thromboplastin and partial thromboplastin were identified. Thromboplastin is the combination of both phospholipids and tissue factor, both of which are needed in the activation of the extrinsic pathway. However, partial thromboplastin is just phospholipids, and not tissue factor. Therefore, the coagulation cascade is triggered only through the intrinsic pathway. This enables researchers to isolate this part of the coagulation cascade for measurements and evaluation of functionality.
Currently, recombinant tissue factor is available and used in some PT assays.[ further explanation needed ] Placental derivatives are still available and are used in some laboratories. Phospholipid is available as an independent reagent or in combination with tissue factor as thromboplastin. Complete thromboplastin consists of tissue factor, phospholipids (since platelets were removed from blood sample being tested), and CaCl2 to reintroduce calcium ions which were chelated by sodium citrate originally used to prevent coagulation of the sample blood during transportation and/or storage.
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.
Antiphospholipid syndrome, or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, is an autoimmune, hypercoagulable state caused by antiphospholipid antibodies. APS provokes blood clots (thrombosis) in both arteries and veins as well as pregnancy-related complications such as miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and severe preeclampsia. Although the exact etiology of APS is still not clear, genetics is believed to play a key role in the development of the disease. The diagnostic criteria require one clinical event and two positive blood test results spaced at least three months apart that detect lupus anticoagulant, anti-apolipoprotein antibodies, or anti-cardiolipin antibodies.
Thrombin is a serine protease, an enzyme that, in humans, is encoded by the F2 gene. Prothrombin is proteolytically cleaved to form thrombin in the clotting process. Thrombin in turn acts as a serine protease that converts soluble fibrinogen into insoluble strands of fibrin, as well as catalyzing many other coagulation-related reactions.
The prothrombin time (PT) – along with its derived measures of prothrombin ratio (PR) and international normalized ratio (INR) – is an assay for 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 such things as 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), also known as the 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 partial misnomer, as it is actually a prothrombotic antibody in vivo. Lupus anticoagulant in living systems causes an increase in clotting time. The name derives from their properties in vitro, as these antibodies increase coagulation times in laboratory tests such as the activated partial thromboplastin time (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.
Factor X, also known by the eponym Stuart–Prower factor, is an enzyme of the coagulation cascade. It is a serine endopeptidase. Factor X is synthesized in the liver and requires vitamin K for its synthesis.
Dilute Russell's viper venom time (dRVVT) is a laboratory test often used for detection of lupus anticoagulant (LA).
Tissue factor, also called platelet tissue factor, factor III, or CD142, is a protein encoded by the F3 gene, present in subendothelial tissue and leukocytes. Its role in the clotting process is the initiation of thrombin formation from the zymogen prothrombin. Thromboplastin defines the cascade that leads to the activation of factor X—the tissue factor pathway. In doing so, it has replaced the previously named extrinsic pathway in order to eliminate ambiguity.
The prothrombinase complex consists of the serine protease, Factor Xa, and the protein cofactor, Factor Va. The complex assembles on negatively charged phospholipid membranes in the presence of calcium ions. The prothrombinase complex catalyzes the conversion of prothrombin (Factor II), an inactive zymogen, to thrombin (Factor IIa), an active serine protease. The activation of thrombin is a critical reaction in the coagulation cascade, which functions to regulate hemostasis in the body. To produce thrombin, the prothrombinase complex cleaves two peptide bonds in prothrombin, one after Arg271 and the other after Arg320. Although it has been shown that Factor Xa can activate prothrombin when unassociated with the prothrombinase complex, the rate of thrombin formation is severely decreased under such circumstances. The prothrombinase complex can catalyze the activation of prothrombin at a rate 3 x 105-fold faster than can Factor Xa alone. Thus, the prothrombinase complex is required for the efficient production of activated thrombin and also for adequate hemostasis.
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) 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.
Factor X deficiency is a bleeding disorder characterized by a lack in the production of factor X (FX), an enzyme protein that causes blood to clot in the coagulation cascade. Produced in the liver FX when activated cleaves prothrombin to generate thrombin in the intrinsic pathway of coagulation. This process is vitamin K dependent and enhanced by activated factor V.
Kininogens are precursor proteins for kinins, biologically active polypeptides involved in blood coagulation, vasodilation, smooth muscle contraction, inflammatory regulation, and the regulation of the cardiovascular and renal systems.
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 to fibrin, an insoluble protein.
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.
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. While traditional thromboelastography is a global assay for blood clotting disorders and drug effects, TEM is primarily used in combination with appropriate differential assays. They allow testing in the presence of therapeutic heparin concentrations and provide differential diagnostic information to support decisions in therapy. In numerous publications the validity of the method is shown. Application of TEM at the point of care (POC) or in emergency laboratories is getting more and more popular. TEM detects both hypo- and hyperfunctional stages of the clotting process and is probably the only reliable rapid test for the diagnosis of hyperfibrinolysis. In contrast to standard clotting tests, the fibrin stabilizing effect of factor XIII contributes to the result. The rapid availability of results helps to discriminate surgical bleeding from a true haemostasis disorder and improves the therapy with blood products, factor concentrates, anticoagulants and protamine, hemostyptic and antifibrinolytic drugs. Several reports confirm that application of TEM is cost effective by reducing the consumption of blood products.
Blood clotting tests are the tests used for diagnostics of the hemostasis system. Coagulometer is the medical laboratory analyzer used for testing of the hemostasis system. Modern coagulometers realize different methods of activation and observation of development of blood clots in blood or in blood plasma.