Abstract

A new case of congenital dysfibrinogenemia, in which the patient has severe thrombotic disease, is reported. The abnormal fibrinogen molecules are characterized by normal fibrinopeptide release with thrombin and defective polymerization in the formation of fibrin. Clotting times with ancrod and reptilase are significantly prolonged. All other coagulation tests (except those for fibrinogen function) are normal, and the patient has no other underlying disease. The apparent paradox of defective fibrinogen, which clots abnormally and is yet associated with thrombotic disease, can be explained by further analysis of the patient's fibrinogen. The two important functional properties of this fibrinogen are: (1) it forms fibrin gels that are extremely rigid, and (2) the fibrin is highly resistant to lysis by plasmin. Thus, although the abnormal fibrinogen forms defective clots, the fibrin that is formed cannot be removed by the fibrinolytic system. These results provide a molecular explanation for the thrombotic disease in this patient. This abnormal fibrinogen appears to have unique characteristics and has been designated as fibrinogen Chapel Hill Ill.

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