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Am J Med. 1976 Aug;61(2):179-83.

Hereditary antithrombin III deficiency. Effect of antithrombin III deficiency on platelet function.


Antithrombin III (AT III) is the main physiologic inhibitor of thrombin, and activated factors X and IX as well. Normal levels of AT III appear to be necessary to maintain blood fluidity and to prevent thrombosis. Four families with AT III deficiency and recurrent venous thromboembolism have been reported on. We present an additional family with AT III deficiency and a high incidence of thromboembolism. AT III levels were determined by both a functional and an immunologic assay. Results of platelet function tests, not previously reported in persons with AT III deficiency, were found to be normal. Following gel filtration, the platelets were very sensitive to thrombin. Thrombin-induced platelet aggregation appears to be dependent on a balance between the amount of thrombin and AT III present.

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