What reduces plasma levels of antithrombin in disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)?

Updated: Dec 06, 2020
  • Author: Marcel M Levi, MD; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP  more...
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Answer

Plasma levels of the most important inhibitor of thrombin, antithrombin, are usually markedly reduced in patients with DIC. This reduction is caused by the following:

  • Antithrombin is continuously consumed by ongoing activation of coagulation

  • Elastase produced by activated neutrophils degrades antithrombin as well as other proteins

  • Further antithrombin is lost to capillary leakage

  • Production of antithrombin is impaired secondary to liver damage resulting from underperfusion and microvascular coagulation [16, 26]


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