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Ecarin clotting time
Ecarin clotting time (ECT) is a laboratory test used to monitor anticoagulation during treatment with hirudin, an anticoagulant medication which was originally isolated from leech saliva. Ecarin, the primary reagent in this assay, is derived from the venom of the saw-scaled viper, Echis carinatus.
Additional recommended knowledge
In the clinical assay, a known quantity of eccarin is added to the plasma of a patient treated with hirudin. Ecarin activates prothrombin through a specific proteolytic cleavage, which produces meizothrombin, a prothrombin-thrombin intermediate which retains the full molecular weight of prothrombin, but possses a low level of procoagulant enzymatic activity. Crucially, this activity is inhibited by hirudin and other direct thrombin inhibitors, but not by heparin. The ECT is also unaffected by prior treatment with coumadin or the presence of phospholipid-dependant anticoagulants, such as lupus anticoagulant. Thus, the ECT is prolonged in a specific and linear fashion with increasing concentrations of hirudin.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ecarin_clotting_time". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|