Laboratory testing issues for protein C, protein S, and antithrombin

Int J Lab Hematol. 2014 Jun;36(3):289-95. doi: 10.1111/ijlh.12219.


Thrombophilia is a complex disease process, which clinically expresses as venous thrombosis. The presence of a genetic defect in one of the major contributing components (protein C [PC], protein S [PS], and antithrombin [AT]) to thrombophilia can be determined by clinical laboratory assays. However, understanding the limitations and problems associated with assays is paramount to an accurate analysis of the genetic status. This review will discuss the major analytical issues and provide recommendations for assaying PC, PS, and AT in plasma. Recommendations are also made about pre-analytical and postanalytical issues clinically affecting these assays.

Keywords: Protein C; antithrombin; laboratory assays; protein S; thrombophilia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antithrombins*
  • Blood Coagulation Tests* / methods
  • Humans
  • Protein C*
  • Protein S*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / blood*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / diagnosis*


  • Antithrombins
  • Protein C
  • Protein S