Fibrinolysis - primary or secondary
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Fibrinolysis is a normal body process. It prevents blood clots that occur naturally from growing and causing problems.
Primary fibrinolysis refers to the normal breakdown of clots.
Secondary fibrinolysis is the breakdown of blood clots due to a medical disorder, medicine, or other cause. This may cause severe bleeding.
Primary fibrinolysis; Secondary fibrinolysis
Blood clots form on a protein called fibrin. The breakdown of fibrin (fibrinolysis) can be due to:
- Bacterial infections
- Intense exercise
- Low blood sugar
- Not enough oxygen to tissues
Your health care provider may give you medicines to help blood clots break down more quickly. This may be done if a blood clot causes a heart attack.
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Weitz JI. Hemostasis, Thrombosis, fibrinolysis, and cardiovascular disease. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 82.
Weitz JI. Overview of hemostasis and thrombosis. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr., Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, Anastasi J, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2013:chap 124.
- Last reviewed on 2/1/2016
- Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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