Functional antithrombin III levels were measured by factor Xa inhibition in 63 members of a large family with type 2 antithrombin III deficiency and individuals were classified as antithrombin III deficient or non-deficient according to the results. F1 + 2 and TAT complexes were measured using an ELISA and FPA levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Thirty subjects (48%) were classified as antithrombin III deficient and 33 (52%) as antithrombin III non-deficient. The mean level of F1 + 2 was significantly higher in the deficient adults (0.87 +/- 0.26) compared to both the non-deficient adults (0.70 +/- 0.21) (p = 0.03) and the deficient adults receiving warfarin (0.16 +/- 0.01) (p less than 0.001). The differences in the mean values of TAT complexes and FPA between deficient and non-deficient individuals were not statistically significant. These findings suggest that untreated antithrombin III deficient subjects generate more thrombin than their non-deficient family members and that warfarin inhibits this thrombin formation. In this cross-sectional study, it is not possible to correlate the levels of the surrogate makers with future clinical outcome.