Antithrombin - plasma

Last updated: Monday, 06, August, 2007

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Item Process
Specimen

4.5 mL blood added to 0.5 mL citrate.

Method

Functional assay followed by immunoassay if abnormal.

Reference Interval

Method dependent - consult pathologist.

Functional (guide only): 80-120% of activity in pooled normal plasma

Immunoassay: 0.2-0.4 g/L.

Application

Investigation of  venous thromboembolism; recurrent, unexplained or with positive family history.

The test should not be performed whilst the patient is receiving heparin, as levels will be reduced. Immunoassay is not appropriate for initial testing.

Interpretation

Antithrombin is a major natural inhibitor of activated coagulation factors; antithrombin deficiency is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism.

Deficiency may be inherited or acquired (eg, liver disease, oestrogen therapy, nephrotic syndrome).