Last reviewed 01/2018
This is a biological amplification system in which there is sequential activation of circulating precursor proteins (the coagulation factor enzymes) which results in the generation of thrombin. Thrombin causes the conversion of plasma fibrinogen to fibrin which enmeshes the platelet aggregates at the site of vascular injury. This results in the formation of stable homeostatic plugs.
Blood coagulation is considered in terms of two pathways - the intrinsic and extrinsic, which both end in a common pathway.
diagram of the physiological production of thrombin
diagram of thrombin generation in DIC
diagram of the clotting cascade
intrinsic pathway of blood coagulation
extrinsic pathway of blood coagulation
common pathway of blood coagulation