TAFI (thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor) down regulates fibrinolysis after activation by relatively high concentrations of thrombin generated during coagulation via thrombin mediated factor XI activation and subsequent activation of the intrinsic pathway. It is this secondary burst of thrombin that is severely diminished in haemophilia A, a deficiency of coagulation factor VIII. We therefore investigated the role of TAFI in haemophilia A by measuring the clot lysis times of tissue factor induced fibrin formation and tPA mediated fibrinolysis. In haemophilia A plasma clot lysis times were normal at relatively high tissue factor concentrations but severely decreased at moderate to low tissue factor concentrations, indicating that the thrombin generation via the extrinsic pathway was insufficient to activate TAFI. Addition of factor VIII, TAFI or thrombomodulin restored the clot lysis times at low tissue factor concentrations. This confirms the hypothesis that the bleeding disorder in haemophilia A is not merely a defect in the initial clot formation but is in fact a triple defect: reduced thrombin formation via the extrinsic pathway at low tissue factor concentrations, a reduced secondary burst of thrombin generation via the intrinsic pathway and a defective down regulation of the fibrinolytic system by the intrinsic pathway.