Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Question and answer

Attending: How does heparin work?

It prevents clot formation by enhancing the action of anti-thrombin III. . . wait, heparin’s not a thrombolytic, it’s not supposed to break up clot, it just prevents more clot from forming. . . anti-thrombin III breaks up clot that’s already there so that can’t be right. . . wait, where the hell does anti-thrombin III actually act? . . it must inhibit thrombin. . . maybe it doesn’t break up clot after ---

Someone else: It activates anti-thrombin III.


Attending: Right. And how does plavix work?

It inhibits platelet aggregation. . . but how? . . . can’t be a IIb-IIIa inhibitor because integrillin and reopro are the IIb-IIIa inhibitors. . . but IIb-IIIa is the way that platelets crosslink so it must act somewhere on those receptors. . . hmm, could it act on fibrin or fibrinogen?. . . that doesn’t sound ---

Someone else: It impedes platelet aggregation.


Attending: Very good.