Thrombin-antithrombin complexes (TAT) form covalently following thrombin generation and have a plasma half-life of 10 to 15 minutes. The presence of TAT indicates ongoing thrombin formation and the consumption of antithrombin. Upon activation of coagulation, antithrombin complexes with thrombin as well as other serine proteases. Complex formation is greatly enhanced by the presence of heparin or other glycosaminoglycans. The reaction initially is reversible, but becomes irreversible following the formation of a covalent bond between antithrombin and thrombin. This binding results in complete inhibition of thrombins activity. Elevated levels of TAT may be associated with advancing age, pregnancy, septicemia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, multiple traumas, acute pancreatitis, acute and chronic leukemia, preëclampsia, acute and chronic liver disease, and other predisposing causes of thrombosis. Increased levels are also reported during heparin and fibrinolytic therapy. TAT levels are markedly reduced in the first 24 hours after receiving oral anticoagulants.
Overnight fasting is preferred. Duly filled Coagulation Requisition Form is mandatory. It is recommended that patient discontinues Heparin for 1 day and Oral Anticoagulants for 7 days prior to sampling as these drugs may affect test results. Discontinuati
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