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Table of Contents
Vol. 33, No. 4, 2003
Issue release date: July – August
Section title: Review Paper
Pathophysiol Haemost Thromb 2003/04;33:173–183

The Ecarin Clotting Time, a Universal Method to Quantify Direct Thrombin Inhibitors

Nowak G.
Research Group ‘Pharmacological Haemostaseology’, Medical Faculty, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany
email Corresponding Author

Prof. Dr. Götz Nowak

Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Medical Faculty

Research Group ‘Pharmacological Haemostaseology’

Drackendorfer Strasse 1, DE–07747 Jena (Germany)

Tel. +49 3641 932 57 00, Fax +49 3641 932 57 02, E-Mail goetz.nowak@med.uni-jena.de


  1. Griessbach U, Stürzebecher J: Assay of hirudin in plasma using chromogenic thrombin substrate. Thromb Res 1986;37:347–350.
  2. Nowak G, Bucha E: Ecarin-induced meizothrombin formation – an efficient antidote of hirudin. Thromb Res 1992;65:S157.
  3. Nowak G, Bucha E: A new method for the therapeutical monitoring of hirudin. Thromb Haemost 1993;69:1306.
    External Resources
  4. Nowak G, Bucha E: Quantitative determination of hirudin in blood and body fluids. Semin Thromb Hemost 1996;22:197–202.
  5. Boskovic DS, Bajzar LS, Nesheim ME: Channeling during prothrombin activation. J Biol Chem 2001;276:28685–28693.
  6. Nowak G, Bucha E: Prothrombin conversion intermediate effectively neutralizes toxic levels of hirudin. Thromb Res 1995;80:317–325.
  7. Nowak G: Monitoring of the action of antithrombin agents by ecarin clotting time; in Pifarré R (ed): New Anticoagulants for the Cardiovascular Patient. Philadelphia, Hanley & Belfus, 1997, pp 539–550.
  8. Pötzsch B, Hund S, Madlener K, Unkrig C, Müller-Berghaus G: Monitoring of recombinant hirudin – assessment of a plasma-based ecarin clotting time assay. Thromb Res 1997;86:373–383.
  9. Pötzsch B, Madlener K, Seelig C, Riess CF, Greinacher A, Müller-Berghaus G: Monitoring of r-hirudin anticoagulation during cardiopulmonary bypass – assessment of the whole blood ecarin clotting time. Thromb Haemost 1997;77:920–925.
  10. Mende K, Petoukhova O, Koulitchkova V, Schaub GA, Lange U, Kaufmann R, Nowak G: Dipetalogastin, a potent thrombin inhibitor from the bloodsucking insect Dipetalogaster maximus. CDNA cloning, expression and characterization. Eur J Biochem 1999;266:583–590.
  11. Novak G, Bucha E, Kossmehl A: Quantitative determination of synthetic thrombin inhibitors using Ecarin Clotting Time. Ann Hematol 1998;76(suppl 1):A51.
  12. Esslinger HU, Bucha E, Pöschel K, Jansa U, Schindler S, Stein G, Nowak G: Pharmacokinetics of PEG-hirudin in subjects with various degrees of renal function. Ann Hematol 1998;76(suppl 1):P278.
  13. Breddin HK, Radziwon P, Esslinger HU: Thrombin inhibition enhances aspirin-induced bleeding time prolongation. Circulation 1996;94:I-267.
  14. Lopez ML, Nowak G: Special pharmacokinetics of dipetarudin suggests a potential antitumor activity of this thrombin inhibitor. Anticancer Drug 2004,15:145–149.
  15. Kaufmann R, Zieger M, Tausch S, Henklein P, Nowak G: Meizothrombin, an intermediate of prothrombin activation, stimulates human glioblastoma cells by interaction with PAR-1-type thrombin receptors. J Neurosci Res 2000;59:643–648.
  16. Lindhoff-Last E, Piechottka GP, Rabe F, Bauersachs R: Hirudin determination in plasma can be strongly influenced by the prothrombin level. Thromb Res 2000;100:55–60.
  17. Lange U, Wiesenburg A, Olschewski A, Steinmetzer T, Nowak G, Bucha E: Ecarin chromogenic assay (ECA) – a new chromogenic assay useful for clinical monitoring of direct thrombin inhibitors like hirudin. Ann Hematol 2002;81(suppl 1):A49.
  18. Riess FC, Pötzsch B, Müller-Berghaus G: Recombinant hirudin as an anticoagulant during cardiac surgery; in Pifarré R (ed): New Anticoagulants for the Cardiovascular Patient. Philadelphia, Hanley & Belfus, 1997, pp 197–221.