Circulating anticoagulant - Definition

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A circulating anticoagulant is a substance made by the body which slows or inhibits the normal coagulation of the blood and the formation of clots. They are present in certain disorders, generally in the form of antibodies. Circulating anticoagulants are responsible for a tendency to bleed and a difficulty in stopping hemorrhages, and are found in some diseases such as certain hemophilias or systemic lupus erythematosus.