Natural or spontaneous fibrinolytic activity of the blood is due to a labile activator which is stabilized by fibrin formation. Current methods of measuring spontaneous fibrinolysis require either low temperature centrifugation when plasma is used or photography when diluted whole blood is used and neither is available in the average laboratory. A method of measuring fibrinolytic activity in blood, the `fibrinolytic potential', which requires only simple apparatus, is described. It is found to correlate well with the dilute blood clot lysis time, and should be of value for investigating the hitherto neglected problem of spontaneous fibrinolytic activity in occlusive vascular disease.
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