- prothrombin time) is a test of the integrity of part of the clotting scheme. The prothrombin time is also commonly used as a method of monitoring the accuracy of blood thinning treatment (anticoagulation) with drugs such as Coumadin. The pro(thrombin) time is the time needed for clot formation after a substance called thromboplastin (+ calcium) has been added to blood plasma. Prothrombin is a coagulation (clotting) factor needed for the normal clotting of blood. There is a cascade of biochemical events that leads to the formation of the final clot. In this cascade, prothrombin is a precursor to thrombin. Because prothrombin comes before thrombin, it is called prothrombin.
Medical dictionary. 2011.
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