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October 1958

The Chemistry of Blood Coagulation.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(4):681-682. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260210167023

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The coagulation of the blood has excited the curiosity of men from Hippocrates and Aristotle to the present. Yet not until the 19th century were the theoretical conceptions of blood clotting founded upon sound experimental facts. This progress came about, as Paul Morawitz suggests in his title, because of a recognition that the blood coagulated as a result of the "fermentative" interaction of "chemical" constituents. In 1832 Johannes Mueller first proved the existence of fibrin in solution in plasma. In 1905 Morawitz assembled the scientific work of others and himself and formulated a theory of blood coagulation which is still the basis of today's thinking. Thrombin was the catalyst of the fibrinogen-fibrin reaction. Morawitz considered that calcium and thromboplastic substances from platelets, leukocytes, and tissue juice converted the inactive form of thrombin (prothrombin) into the enzymatically active thrombin. A wetable surface was important in this transformation. Once thrombin had formed

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