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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Fundamentals of Hemostasis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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The Fibrinolytic System

  • Fibrin strands woven into the clot structure are cleaved into soluble fibrin fragments, and then removed by macrophages.
  • The action of fibrinolysis also serves to restore blood flow into the area that had been sealed off, helping to promote further healing.
  • Fibrinolysis is mediated by a proteolytic enzyme called plasmin.
  • Plasminogen is the inactive precursor form of plasmin that is found in plasma.
  • Plasmin takes on fibrinolytic properties after activation, digesting both fibrin and fibrinogen.
  • Inhibitors act to control the process, serving as a check and balance system for fibrinolytic activities.