Antithrombin III is a non-vitamin, K-dependent protease that naturally blocks abnormal blood clot formation in the bloodstream. Deficiency of antithrombin III causes various blood clot disorders in the human body. For instance, congenital antithrombin III deficiency is a common antithrombin deficiency, which usually occurs when individuals receive the abnormal antithrombin III gene from their parents. This abnormal gene causes abnormal blood clots in the human body which block blood flow and damage organs.
Antithrombin deficiencies are mainly divided into two types: type I and type II. The type I antithrombin deficiency is characterized by an inadequate amount of normal antithrombin present in the bloodstream. In this condition, there is simply not enough antithrombin present to inactivate the coagulation factors. The type II antithrombin deficiency is characterized by adequate amount of antithrombin present in the bloodstream. However, it does not function properly and is unable to carry out its normal functions.
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