Figure 3 The coagulation cascade; a, active. Reproduced with permission from Buttriss JL and Gray J (1992) Coronary Heart Disease II, Fact File 8. London: National Dairy Council. Copyright National Dairy Council.

platelet aggregation through its impact on blood viscosity, which in turn is related to the risk of thrombosis. A mechanism exists to dissolve the thrombus by the breakdown or lysis of the fibrin meshwork (fibrinolysis). Plasminogen, which is generated by plasmin, is the zymosan that ultimately effects fibrinolysis. Failure of the mechanism to activate will cause obstruction of blood vessels and prevent normal blood supply.

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