coagulation cascade

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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.

Last reviewed 01/2018