Heparin antithrombin III binding was studied by crossed immunoelectrophoresis. In plasma and purified antithrombin III standard, multicomponent patterns were obtained with low concentrations of mucosal heparin. There is evidence that antithrombin III may bind more than one heparin molecule. At high heparin concentration ( > 16 U/ml), single symmetrical peaks were obtained. Serum samples showed two antithrombin HI peaks due to a decreased heparin binding of the slower peak (2.1–3.9 times), which was probably antithrombin III-activated procoagulant complexes. Heparin analogue (A 73025) also bound antithrombin III in vitro but the mobility of the peak was slower than with mucosal heparin and only a single peak was obtained in serum samples. Radioimmunoassay showed a decreased binding of antithrombin III antibody to heparin-antithrombin III complex. Venous occlusion to the forearm resulted in a slow second peak in the plasma. Heparin therapy gave rise to a double peak in the plasma antithrombin III profile and with continuous infusion, quantitative decreases were noted in all subjects studied, two of whom rethrombosed at the end of 7 days therapy.

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