Abbrevation: AT –III Activity
Transport: up to 1 hrs. at 0˚c,-20˚c
Storage: 4 hours at 0˚c ,or longer time at -20˚ c
Test Name: Antithrombin III
Normal Range: 80-125
To help investigate the cause of recurrent or inappropriate blood clotting; to help diagnose an antithrombin deficiency
Preferably a couple of months after a thrombotic episode and not whilst taking, or for at least 6 weeks after taking anticoagulants. Occasionally testing may be requested if you are not responding as your doctor expected to heparin anticoagulation therapy
A blood sample taken from a vein in your arm
No test preparation is needed.
Antithrombin testing measures the function and quantity of antithrombin. Antithrombin is a protein produced by the liver to help control blood clotting. Normally, when a blood vessel is injured, the body activates a series of coagulation factors, in a process called the coagulation cascade, to form a blood clot and prevent further blood loss. Antithrombin helps to regulate this process by inhibiting the action of several activated coagulation factors, chiefly thrombin and factor Xa to slow down the process and prevent excessive or inappropriate clotting.
There are two major causes antithrombin deficiency:
Patients with inherited or acquired antithrombin deficiency are at increased risk of venous thrombosis.
1. Inherited deficiencies are rare (about 1 in 5000 patients). If a person has one defective gene and one normal gene (heterozygous), then inappropriate clotting episodes typically start at about 20 to 30 years of age. Very rarely, an individual has two defective antithrombin genes, resulting in severe thrombotic problems soon after birth. Acquired antithrombin deficiencies may occur at any age. They are associated with a variety of conditions, including liver disease, extensive thrombosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), blood loss, cancer, and nephrotic syndrome – a form of kidney disease. There are two types of inherited antithrombin deficiency. With type 1, normal antithrombin is produced, but the quantity made is insufficient. With type 2, there is a sufficient quantity of antithrombin produced, but it is dysfunctional. These types can be detected, differentiated, and assessed using two antithrombin tests. They are:
- Antithrombin activity, which evaluates the function of a patient’s antithrombin
- Antithrombin antigen, which measures the quantity of antithrombin present
2. Acquired antithrombin deficiencies may occur at any age. These result in quantitative deficiency of antithrombin (type 1 deficiency). They are associated with a variety of conditions, including liver disease, extensive thrombosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), blood loss, cancer, nephrotic syndrome – a form of kidney disease, metastatic (widespread) tumours and chemotherapy with asparaginase.
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.