Coagulation studies, sometimes referred to as coagulation tests, are used to measure blood coagulation, or clotting, which is the body’s way of minimizing or eliminating blood loss in the event of trauma, which can range from minor abrasions to serious injuries or even hemorrhaging. These tests are ordered to gauge the function of coagulation in the patient. Medical professionals will also order a possible range of tests if they encounter bleeding in patients for which there are no immediately discernable sources or reasons.
Types of Coagulation Studies
Complete Blood Count — A complete blood count (CBC) provides information to your doctor about the state of your blood and could provide information about various disorders that might inhibit the body’s natural ability to clot blood.
Factor V — Factor V is a protein that aids in the conversion of chemicals, known as prothrombin and thrombin. Any abnormalities detected might point to liver problems, where Factor V is produced.
Fibrinogen and Thrombin Time — Another protein manufactured by your liver, Fibrinogen is found in your blood. If such a test is ordered, doctors scrutinize your Fibrinogen levels in search of abnormalities. In the case of abnormalities, hemorrhaging or even placental abruption could be discovered. Thrombin time tests assess the efficacy of your fibrinogen.
PT or PT-INR — Yet another protein manufactured by your liver, Prothrombin is examined through a prothrombin time (PT) test, which measures how long it takes your blood to clot, as well as the efficacy of the clotting to stop your bleeding.
Platelet Count — Cells in your blood known as platelets help clot your blood. A simple test measures the platelet count to determine whether the count is too high or low.
Bleeding Time — Blood vessels in your skin typically close to aid the clotting process. Bleeding time tests employ an inflated cuff and several minor cuts to gauge the time it takes for these vessels to close.
Doctors order coagulation studies for a variety of reasons. Some might order them as part of routine physicals or checkups. Others might order them during a diagnostic phase to either confirm or rule out suspicions raised by certain symptoms, such as bruising, inability to form clots, or evidence of hemorrhaging.
Your doctor will receive and analyze the final results. He or she will check the data for abnormalities. If any abnormalities or deficiencies are detected, your doctor will discuss possible diagnoses. He or she might order more tests or prescribe appropriate medications or discuss a treatment plan.