Summary: Factor XIII (FXIII) is the final factor in the coagulation cascade. FXIII plays a critical role in clot stabilization by cross-linking fibrin and making the clot denser and stiffer. FXIII plays crucial roles in platelet clot retraction, wound healing, and tissue repair. When FXIII is deficient, unusual bleeding that persists for several days, delayed healing, and morbid granulation may occur. We present a case of acquired FXIII deficiency presenting as recurrent bleeding after head trauma. A 66-year-old man fell from a ladder and sustained a head injury. The patient had a history of postremission acute myeloid leukemia and Stanford type B aortic dissection and was on three antihypertensives but no antiplatelets or anticoagulants. Approximately 1 month postinjury, the patient suddenly experienced repeated bleeding and hematoma. Routine coagulation tests were normal; therefore, we suspected another type of coagulation disorder. Low FXIII activity was identified 39 days postinjury. We immediately administered concentrated human coagulation FXIII (Fibrogammin P). The patient's head contusion was completely healed by day 55 postinjury. Acquired FXIII deficiency should be considered when routine coagulation test results are normal. Plastic surgeons who treat injuries routinely must be cognizant of FXIII deficiency because the condition can be life-threatening and early detection is important. Whenever the process of wound healing is unusual or hematoma and bleeding recur unexpectedly with no clear explanation - despite suitable treatments - FXIII deficiency should be suspected and, if present, must be appropriately treated without delay.
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