10 Essentials Facts About Prothrombin

what is prothrombin protime
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What is Prothrombin

The blood does has a clotting functionality during the coagulation process but in fact can’t do so without prothrombin which is a blood protein vital in clotting. This essential blood protein is also referred as Factor II.

Prothrombin/Factor II has a role in the formation of fibrin which combines with the platelets in order for the system to initiate the entire clotting process. This makes it simple to say that without prothrombin, there will be no fibrin and without fibrin, there is a bleeding propensity.



The liver has the major role in the existence of prothrombin. In fact, blood proteins such as prothrombin are produced by the organ. After prothrombin is produced, it is altered in a vitamin. There are a number of acids known as glutamic acids present on prothrombin. These acids are therefore transformed to GLA or gamma carboxyglutamic acid by the vitamin K.


In the coagulation cascade, coagulation factor II is slashed for the formation of thrombin. Thrombin is thus known to come from prothrombin as the name itself suggests. Thrombin eventually helps in reducing the amount of blood loss. It also changes fibrinogen to fibrin since it is known to act as a catalyst and as a serine protease. Thrombin also enhances the activation of protein C which is the coagulation cascade inhibitor.


A normal body should not have too much bleeding or even blood clot. Therefore, there must have a balance in the body otherwise, the blood clot may result if at all this balancing fails. The platelets and the protein in the blood do restore the injury part and minimizes the amount of blood being wasted. These two are being generated and activated naturally in the body when injury occurs. They (cells/platelets and clotting proteins) do respond normally to block the vessel interference.


The prothrombin or the factor II time is the time that measures the duration in which fibrin formation should occur when thromboplastin tissue is added. When the blood does not clot normally, the prothrombin time indicates that there is absence of a coagulant or a blood clotting factor.

Prothrombin time is mostly undertaken to observe patients under medications and also to diagnose clotting disorders.

There is also a certain test known as the partial thromboplastin time test which combines with the factor II time test to screen for hereditary clotting disorders like hemophilia.

Conditions that may affect blood clotting:

  • Deficiency in clotting factors
  • Bone marrow disorders
  • Immune system’s complaints
  • Shortage/lack of Vitamin K
  • Liver diseases and many others.

The factor II time therefore helps to diagnose these disorders. The prothrombin time is therefore important because it is the one which determines whether someone’s blood is clotting properly or not.


Thromboplastin is one of the clotting factors. The clotting factors change the blood from it liquid state to solid state. The clotting factors are known to be produced by the liver. Since thrombin reduces/stops blood clot, it is being produced faster by prothrombin when an injury is experienced. During this state of injury, prothrombin must change normally although to some instances, the body might be having a disorder which mostly could be of a blood clotting.


Factor II mutation which is also known as the prothrombin 20210 mutation tests might be offered due to some disorders. People are said to be having a prothrombin mutation when their bodies produce excess prothrombin protein whereby in this condition, blood is likely to clot. A test for factor II mutation is carried on when:

  • Blood clot misses the direction a condition known as the pulmonary embolis
  • Miscarriage is experienced
  • There is a deep vein thrombosis
  • Blood clot has been spotted in a rare place and other unmentioned factors.


Prothrombin mutation is being analyzed through the blood test .The patient’s blood sample is being taken and put in a tube with sodium citrate which ensures that there is no blood clot before the test is complete. During the test, the patient’s protein in the blood is added to the plasma. Since there is sodium citrate in the mixture, the blood cannot clot even if it reaches the required temperatures so calcium chloride is supplemented for the clotting to occur.


During the test, DNA is being tested because it is the one which determines the heterozygous and homozygous conditions. When the result is having homozygous prothrombin which has two prothrombine genes, there is a high chance of getting deep vein thrombosis. If at all you are heterozygous, it means that you have mutation in one of your prothrombin genes.


There is this blood which travels in the deep veins and in the lungs. This blood also known as the DVT is very much intimidating because it causes body disorders such as:

  • Swelling of the legs
  • Blood vessels impairment especially of the lungs
  • Pain in some parts of the body
  • Coughing sometimes with blood

Prothrombin mutation helps during blood clot hence; there is high rate of risk factors to the ones who do not have.


It is recommended that someone who have or have ever had the deep vein thrombosis to be tested for prothrombin mutation. Prothrombin mutation as a hereditary risk factor may be seen in various people especially to:

  • Someone who have been experiencing blood clot during young age
  • Someone experiencing pregnancy problems
  • Someone having blood clot in areas like vessels of the lungs and brain


Surgery causes a high blood clot rate. Due to this, it is recommended that whenever someone is undertaking surgery or being hospitalized, the doctor in charge should be concerned in knowing the patients’ history most likely concerning prothrombin mutation.

Prothrombin mutation occurs mostly in people who have had pregnancy complication. Mothers who have the prothrombin mutation most likely give birth to babies of less weight or small babies. Although it is a risk condition, it is not very clear about the situation.

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