WHAT IS AN ACTIVATED PARTIAL THROMBOPLASTIN TIME (aPTT) LAB TEST?
The Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (aPTT) measures the body’s Ability To Form Blood Clots appropriately.
AM I REQUIRED TO FAST FOR THIS LAB TEST?
WHAT IS THE PRICE OF AN aPTT LAB TEST?
*Price may vary by location – contact your local ANY LAB TEST NOW®
The body’s ability to form blood clots is critical to the healing process when we are wounded both externally and internally. When the coagulation (clotting) process is functioning normally after body tissue or a blood vessel is wounded and bleeds, platelets which are small, sticky cell fragments attach to and begin to collect at the injury site. This begins the process of “coagulation cascade” that includes many other factors, one of which is the knitting together of fibrous tissues that forms a net over the injury site. The net and the platelets together form a stable blood clot that prevents further bleeding and allows the site to heal and the body to minimize blood loss.
If any of the coagulation factors is not functioning properly blood clots don’t form or form too slowly leading to excessive bleeding both internally and externally which can lead to dangerous, life-threatening episodes. Alternatively, blood clots may form too quickly and too often, breaking free and causing stroke or heart attack.
WHY DO I NEED AN aPTT LAB TEST?
Are you on Heparin therapy to prevent stroke? Do your wounds take longer than normal to heal?
By measuring the amount of time the body takes to form a blood clot in a test tube, the aPTT test can determine the amount and the function of certain coagulation factors. For people who are at increased risk of blood clots that can cause stroke or heart attack, Heparin, an anti-coagulant is sometimes prescribed. While on Heparin therapy it is important to monitor both the effectiveness of the therapy and to ensure that the body is still able to properly form blood clots.
If you experiencing unexplained bruising or bleeding, have developed a thromboembolism (clot that has broken free and is moving through the veins), have an acute condition that may cause bleeding and the clots to be used too quickly, or chronic liver disease this test will help to determine the cause allowing treatment to prevent life threatening bleeding events. This test may also be used prior to surgery to determine a patient’s bleeding tendencies so that surgical staff is prepared for the possibility of increased blood loss or if the patient has a history of history of frequent or excessive bleeding.
aPTT 22-34 seconds
When the time for blood clots to form is longer than the normal reference values, the results are considered “prolonged” which may be due to a condition that causes a decrease in one or more coagulation factors. Some of these conditions include von Willebrand disease or hemophilia which are inherited diseases. Acquired deficiencies may be due to a lack of vitamin K.
Low results may be an indication of acute or chronic illness or inflammation.
WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICIAN SHOULD I SEE?
You should see your primary care physician, a cardiologist or a hematologist.