WHAT TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CIRCULATING ANTICOAGULANTS?
The circulating anticoagulants are usually autoantibodies that do the work of neutralizing specific coagulation proteins present in the blood. This applies in particular to coagulating protein factor VIII OR V., It can usually be diagnosed in patients who are suffering from excessive bleeding and whose PTT & PT tests are repeatedly high. These auto-antibodies that act against the clotting protein can lead to acute venous thrombosis.
THE ANTICOAGULANTS OF FACTOR VIII AND FACTOR IX
Patients suffering from Hemophilia A are more prone to the development of isoantibodies against Factor VIII. These auto-antibodies also arise in patients who are not suffering from Hemophilia such as in postpartum women or older or adult patients.
Patients suffering from Hemophilia B develop isoantibodies against factor IX clotting protein but it is very uncommon. The PTT & PT is performed for both types. When the mixture of normal plasma and the plasma of factor VIII and IX respectively are in the patient’s body.
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Coagulation disorders are bleeding disorders that affect the ability of the body to control the blood clotting process. A person suffering from such disorders either experiences abnormal bleeding or excessive bleeding. There are generally two types of coagulation disorders:
- Hereditary – These are very rare including diseases such as Hemophilia A, Hemophilia B, and von Willebrand.
- Acquired – These are more common and occur mostly due to the interference of certain drugs or anticoagulants in the blood. Liver disease is also responsible for lowering the efficiency of blood clotting factors.
For the examination and diagnosis of coagulation disorders generally, health care providers prescribe PT/INR tests after taking blood samples. Prothrombin is the major clotting factor produced by the liver. A Prothrombin Time Test measures the time taken by the blood to form a clot in the body. There are certain common ranges for INR. The INR level helps in determining the actual blood clotting time. Whereas a Partial Thromboplastin Time Test is the time taken by plasma to form a clot and also measures different clotting factors other than the PT test.
There are different therapies used for patients suffering from Hemophilia and people suffering without Hemophilia. In patients without Hemophilia, cyclophosphamide therapy is given that may lower the production of auto-antibodies. A recombinant activated factor VII is used for patients suffering from Hemophilia A or Hemophilia B. which does reduce excessive bleeding in these patients.
For performing the test of f PT/INR, PATIENT SELF TESTING is a most convenient method. Patients who are prescribed blood-thinning medications such as WARFARIN (COUMADIN) are asked to monitor their PT/INR level regularly so that their proper doses can be adjusted accordingly. With the help of PT/INR METERS, patients can now easily perform their blood tests and can get the reading in no time.