The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether the infusion of N-acetylcysteine decreased the measurement of prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) in healthy persons. N-acetylcysteine was administered intraveneously 10 mg kg-1 as a loading dose and then at a rate of 10 mg kg-1 h-1 for 32 h in six male subjects. The intrinsic, extrinsic and common pathway of coagulation were monitored with activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), and prothrombin time, respectively. In addition, the extrinsic coagulation pathway was monitored with the clotting activity of single factors II, VII, and X. No effect on the intrinsic coagulation pathway was observed. There was a significant and rapid decrease in prothrombin time. Coagulation factors II, VII and X, the three components of prothrombin time, decreased significantly to different degrees. We conclude that infusion of N-acetylcysteine intraveneously decreases the prothrombin time in healthy subjects. Thus, one should not make conclusions which are too far-reaching based on prothrombin time alone in patients who have been treated recently with N-acetylcysteine intraveneously.
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, 1994, Vol 54, Issue 7, p. 543-7