Summary. Thrombus formation, including platelet adhesion, activation, secretion and aggregation as well as tissue factor-initiated thrombin generation and fibrin formation, has been studied in the past using in vitro systems, often with isolated components. Given the complexity of hemostasis and thrombosis, many of the concepts that have been developed to explain these processes are being revisited by studying thrombus formation in live animals using intravital microscopy and genetically altered mice. Although much of the dogma that has evolved has been confirmed by in vivo studies of thrombus formation, there have also been conflicts between old concepts and new direct observations. In vivo studies of the initiation of thrombus formation, platelet accumulation and thrombin generation have provided evidence for the participation of novel proteins and identified new pathways and mechanisms.