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Are fibrinolytic agents and thrombolytic agents the same thing?

by IJ_606 IJ_606 (New) New

Quick question in the title. Thanks guys! :)

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

Yes and no. They are the same in that both break down blood clots. But, as the name implies, thrombolytics act on the entire thrombus (clot) while fibrinolytics break down the fibrin within the clot. Essentially fibrinolytic are a type of thrombolytic. Some drugs do both. These are separate still from anticoaglants- which prevent clot formation, but do not break down clots. Antiplatelet or antiaggregate drugs that inhibit platelet clumping, are a form of anticoagulant.

No fibrin, no clot, so the answer is yes, from a functional standpoint. I learned the clotting cascade a dozen times and still can't reproduce it all, but reviewing the graphic depiction will help you understand this.


Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

If a clot falls in the forest, and there was no fibrin to see it, was it ever really there in the first place?