Coagulation laboratory tests

Thrombin time

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Last staff update: 23 September 2020

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PubMed Search: Thrombin time [title]

Jeremy C. Parsons, M.D.
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Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Parsons JC. Thrombin time. website. Accessed February 23rd, 2024.
Definition / general
  • Measures rate of fibrin clot formation after addition of standard concentration of thrombin to citrated plasma (Key, Makris, O'Shaughnessy and Lillicrap (Eds): Practical Hemostasis and Thrombosis, 2nd Edition, 2009 (Page 53))
  • Thrombin cleaves fibrinogen, releasing fibrinopeptides A and B, converting fibrinogen to fibrin
  • Useful to diagnose dysfibrinogenemia after more common disorders are excluded

  • Reference range: 10 - 13 or 16 - 24 seconds, depending on reaction conditions and thrombin concentration

  • Prolonged if even small amounts of heparin, hirudin or argatroban anticoagulants are present
  • Also prolonged with dysfibrinogenemia, amyloidosis (inhibits fibrinogen conversion to fibrin), DIC, thrombolytic therapy or thrombin inhibitors in patients exposed to bovine thrombin
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