In this prospective study, antithrombin III, plasminogen and alpha 2 antiplasmin which are synthetised by the liver were measured and compared with the Normotest, Thrombotest and fibrinogen concentrations in 92 consecutive jaundiced patients. Antithrombin III appeared to be the most discriminant coagulation test in differentiating hepatocellular from cholestatic jaundice. A high correlation was observed between antithrombin III, plasminogen and alpha 2 antiplasmin values suggesting that the liver synthesis of these parameters was closely linked. The prognostic significance of the blood coagulation tests in patients with jaundice has been studied. In parenchymatous liver disease, antithrombin III, plasminogen and alpha 2 antiplasmin were superior to the Normotest, Thrombotest and fibrinogen concentrations in predicting the prognosis of the patients at the time of admission. In cholestatic jaundice, however, none of the blood coagulation tests studied had a prognostic significance.
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