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Am J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 1988 Spring;10(1):65-8.

Intracranial hemorrhage in congenital deficiency of factor XIII.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 20007.


We describe a male infant with congenital deficiency of coagulation Factor XIII who presented in the immediate postnatal period with umbilical stump bleeding and suffered a severe intracranial hemorrhage at 2 months of age. Factor XIII, also known as "fibrin-stabilizing factor," is a transpeptidase that produces strong covalent bonds between soluble fibrin monomers formed during coagulation. Presumptive diagnosis of Factor XIII deficiency was made with a clot solubility screening test, and confirmation was accomplished by demonstrating the absence of cross-linked fibrin chains by electrophoresis. This patient had received replacement therapy for 2 years, initially with intravenous fresh frozen plasma, and recently with Fibrogammin (Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals), a European Factor XIII concentrate soon to be available in the United States. Factor XIII deficiency is associated with a high incidence of life-threatening complications, notably intracranial hemorrhage. In light of the long half-life of this factor and the relatively low risk associated with new Factor XIII concentrates, such as Fibrogammin, prophylactic life-long replacement therapy should be considered for patients with severe Factor XIII deficiency.

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