The Ecarin Clotting Time, a Universal Method to Quantify Direct Thrombin Inhibitors
The ecarin clotting time (ECT) is a meizothrombin generation test that allows for precise quantification of direct thrombin inhibitors. The ECT has demonstrated its usefulness for more than 10 years in biochemical-pharmacological investigations as well as in clinical research and in the clinical routine. It has proved valuable especially as a drug-monitoring method in r-hirudin therapy. This test has been adjusted to clinical requirements by numerous modifications. Following the description of the biochemical background and the measuring principle of the ECT, this article gives a short survey of several modifications of the ECT for both preclinical and clinical use, e.g., for biochemical investigations, as a point-of-care method and for cardiac surgery. Advantages and disadvantages of these methods are discussed.
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