Empowering and Inspiring People with Factor XIII Bleeding Disorder

What is Factor XIII?

You need to understand a little bit about how the human body stops bleeding, before you know about Factor XIII.

How the body stops bleeding

  • When a blood vessel gets cut, it becomes narrow so less blood can flow through it. With less blood in the vessel, there is less blood to leak out of the cut.

  • Then, tiny cells in the blood called platelets rush to the cut and begin to attach themselves to the wall of the blood vessel near the cut.

  • The platelets stick to each other to form a temporary plug to stop the cut from the bleeding.

  • A group of proteins in the blood called clotting factors work together to make a patch called a fibrin clot. The fibrin clot keeps the platelet plug in place and expands to seal the hole in the blood vessel and stop the bleeding.

Clotting Factors

There are thirteen clotting factors and they are named using Roman numerals (factor I to factor XIII). All of these factors are needed to form a fibrin clot to stop the bleeding. If you donít have enough of the factor, it is called a clotting factor disorder.

Rare bleeding disorders

While Factor VIII deficiency (also called hemophilia A) and factor IX deficiency (hemophilia B) are common, the other clotting factor disorders are called rare bleeding disorders because they rarely occur (less than 1 in 500,000 people).

Most are inherited, which means one or both parents must have the genetic defect for someone to have the disorder.

Factor XIII Deficiency

Factor XIII deficiency means you have less than the normal amount of factor XIII in your blood.  It is also known as fibrin stabilization factor. It is needed for forming stable fibrin clots and for wounds to heal. It stabilizes blood clots by cross-linking the web of fibrin molecules. Without factor XIII, a fibrin clot forms normally but soon breaks down and bleeding starts again. This cycle of clot formation and bleeding may be repeated for weeks and months. As a result, unusual scars can form. It affects both males and females.

Other Names of Factor XIII Deficiency

  • Fibrin Stabilizing Factor Deficiency
  • Fibrinase Deficiency
  • Fibrinoligase Deficiency
  • Laki-Lorand Factor Deficiency
  • Plasma Transglutaminase Deficiency