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Sustained bleeding after a leech bite in the apparent absence of hirudin.
Thromb Haemost. 1989 Jun 30; 61(3):366-9.TH

Abstract

The bite of the medicinal leech bleeds for many hours. For decades it has been assumed that the remarkably prolonged bleeding time of a leech bite wound is due to hirudin, a specific anti-thrombin secreted by the leech during feeding. By measuring haematological parameters of blood oozing from a leech bite wound on 15 different occasions in 7 human volunteers, we demonstrate that the hirudin-sensitive coagulation parameters, including thrombin-induced platelet aggregation, are prolonged for only 15 min, after which they return to normal. This suggests that excess hirudin secreted by the leech is washed out during this period. However, bleeding from the leech bite wound persists for a mean of 10 h. Platelets in smears of exuding blood show no evidence of spontaneous aggregation, but in vitro platelet aggregation can be induced by exogenous collagen at any time. In view of sustained bleeding in the apparent absence of hirudin, attention is focussed onto an unsuspected factor or factors which may better explain the prolonged bleeding phenomenon.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Haematology Department, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, UK.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

2799751

Citation

Munro, R, et al. "Sustained Bleeding After a Leech Bite in the Apparent Absence of Hirudin." Thrombosis and Haemostasis, vol. 61, no. 3, 1989, pp. 366-9.
Munro R, Hechtel FO, Sawyer RT. Sustained bleeding after a leech bite in the apparent absence of hirudin. Thromb Haemost. 1989;61(3):366-9.
Munro, R., Hechtel, F. O., & Sawyer, R. T. (1989). Sustained bleeding after a leech bite in the apparent absence of hirudin. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 61(3), 366-9.
Munro R, Hechtel FO, Sawyer RT. Sustained Bleeding After a Leech Bite in the Apparent Absence of Hirudin. Thromb Haemost. 1989 Jun 30;61(3):366-9. PubMed PMID: 2799751.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Sustained bleeding after a leech bite in the apparent absence of hirudin. AU - Munro,R, AU - Hechtel,F O, AU - Sawyer,R T, PY - 1989/6/30/pubmed PY - 1989/6/30/medline PY - 1989/6/30/entrez SP - 366 EP - 9 JF - Thrombosis and haemostasis JO - Thromb. Haemost. VL - 61 IS - 3 N2 - The bite of the medicinal leech bleeds for many hours. For decades it has been assumed that the remarkably prolonged bleeding time of a leech bite wound is due to hirudin, a specific anti-thrombin secreted by the leech during feeding. By measuring haematological parameters of blood oozing from a leech bite wound on 15 different occasions in 7 human volunteers, we demonstrate that the hirudin-sensitive coagulation parameters, including thrombin-induced platelet aggregation, are prolonged for only 15 min, after which they return to normal. This suggests that excess hirudin secreted by the leech is washed out during this period. However, bleeding from the leech bite wound persists for a mean of 10 h. Platelets in smears of exuding blood show no evidence of spontaneous aggregation, but in vitro platelet aggregation can be induced by exogenous collagen at any time. In view of sustained bleeding in the apparent absence of hirudin, attention is focussed onto an unsuspected factor or factors which may better explain the prolonged bleeding phenomenon. SN - 0340-6245 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/2799751/Sustained_bleeding_after_a_leech_bite_in_the_apparent_absence_of_hirudin_ L2 - https://medlineplus.gov/animalbites.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -