The properties of fibrinogen extracted by a precipitation method using glycine at ambient temperatures near neutral pH are described. The simple and reproducible method gives a 73% yield of high purity plasminogen-free fibrinogen in 45 minutes from small volumes of plasma. The protein extract was labelled with 125I using chloramine-T under conditions optimal for fibrinogen stability. The extraction procedure, radio-iodination, desalting, and sterilization take only 70 minutes for completion from the time donor blood is received in the laboratory. The methods, using a specially developed extraction vessel and desalting/sterilizing column, can be used in a small hospital laboratory. Autologous fibrinogen can thus be extracted from patients' blood, eliminating the risk of transmitting hepatitis when it is re-administered. The autologous material, which is 97% clottable and contains less than 0-05% free iodide, is being routinely used as a diagnostic tool in the detection of deep vein thrombosis. The high purity of the preparation facilitates metabolic studies and in vitro experimental work. In vivo results show a mean half-life in three normal volunteers of 3-95 days and a catabolic rate of 25-23% per day with the extravascular space estimated as 24-86%. In 30 surgical patients an expected reduced half-life in plasma was determined with a mean of 3-1 days.
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