Antithrombin III deficiency

Antithrombin (AT) III deficiency (now simply called antithrombin deficiency) refers to a congenital lack of an endogenous anticoagulant called antithrombin.

Antithrombin deficiency is considered the least common of the three main anticoagulant deficiencies (the other two being protein C deficiency and protein S deficiency). Its incidence is thought to be ≈1:2000-5000 1.

Antithrombin is a vitamin K-independent glycoprotein in the coagulation pathway. It is a major inhibitor of thrombin and other coagulation serine proteases including factors Xa and IXa. The deficiency of antithrombin leads to a procoagulant state which in turn can lead increased risk of thrombotic and embolic situations such as:

Radiology mainly plays a role in identifying thrombotic and embolic complications (see above). It is useful for the radiologist to be aware of the thrombotic risk associated with this deficiency.

Some publications favour introduction of long-term oral anticoagulation treatment after the first thrombotic event 4.

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Article information

rID: 36915
System: Haematology
Section: Pathology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Antithrombin iii deficiency
  • Anti-thrombin III deficiency
  • AT III deficiency
  • Antithrombin (AT) III deficiency
  • Antithrombin (AT) deficiency
  • Anti-thrombin (AT) III deficiency
  • AT deficiency

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