Antithrombin III (AT III) is a protein that helps control blood clotting. A blood test can determine the amount of AT III present in your body.
Antithrombin; AT III; AT 3; Functional antithrombin III; Clotting disorder - AT III; DVT - AT III; Deep vein thrombosis - AT III
Certain medicines may affect the results of the test. Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking certain medicines or reduce their dose before the test. Do not stop taking any medicine before speaking with your provider.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.
Your provider may order this test if you have repeated blood clots or if blood thinning medicine does not work.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
Lower-than-normal AT III may mean you have an increased risk for blood clotting. This can occur when there is not enough AT III in your blood, or when there is enough AT III in your blood, but the AT III does not function properly and is less active.
Abnormal results may not appear until you are an adult.
Examples of complications associated with increased blood clotting are:
Lower than normal AT III may be due to:
Higher than normal AT III may be due to:
There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another, and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks may include:
Anderson JA, Kogg KE, Weitz JI. Hypercoagulation states. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 140.
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Antithrombin III (AT-III) test - diagnostic. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:156-157.
Sarode R, Kessler CM. Coagulation and fibrinolysis. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 40.
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.