Importance of the field: Antithrombin therapy (AT) has been tested in various medical applications. With advances in genetics and biotechnology, large-scale production of human recombinant antithrombin (rhAT) is now feasible. The prospect of administering a recombinant protein rather than a pooled blood component, has rekindled interest in antithrombin therapy. However, many known properties of human pooled antithrombin (hpAT) still need to be investigated and established for rhAT. Areas covered in this review: The manufacture and clinical pharmacology of antithrombin. The literature, evidence and our own views about the future of this drug and its potential clinical applications. What the reader will gain: The reader will appreciate the biological rationale underpinning antithrombin administration in various clinical settings. The potential benefits and harms of the intervention are addressed. Novel future applications of recombinant antithrombin are broached. Take home message: rhAT has been approved for its use in congenital antithrombin deficiency. rhAT has also been used off-label to treat heparin-resistance in cardiac surgery and sepsis. It is a promising adjuvant for immunosuppression in organ transplantation, and may have role as an anti-angiogenic, anti-tumor and anti-viral agent. rhAT has clear safety advantages over phAT, such as the avoidance of infection transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1155-1168
Number of pages14
JournalExpert opinion on biological therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Antithrombin
  • Heparin resistance
  • Recombinant antithrombin
  • Sepsis


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