|Why is this test done?||The thrombin time is measured to help diagnose certain fibrinogen-related disorders. Fibrinogen is a blood protein involved in coagulation.|
|How to prepare:||
|Associated Tests:||Prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen assay, platelet count and coagulation factor assay can be performed at the same time.|
Usually the blood is fluid and circulates in the vessels. If a vessel is damaged, it is important that the blood does not leak through the damaged area. To limit blood loss, a series of complex processes are activated. This is called coagulation.
Coagulation includes a cascade of enzymatic reactions involving coagulation factors, platelets, damaged wall cells, other blood protein, etc. Coagulation factors are assigned a number ranging from I to XIII. Each factor exists under an inactive and an activated form. Coagulation involves two pathways, one intrinsic the other extrinsic, which end in a final common pathway.
Coagulation is a normal and essential process. Various situations can lead to abnormal coagulation. Excessive coagulation increases the risk of thrombosis, while reduced coagulation can lead to haemorrhage.
Several tests can be performed to assess this process. Thrombin time is a test that measures how long it takes to form a fibrin clot when thrombin is present. Thrombin is an essential component for the completion of certain coagulation steps. Thrombin time is thus used to get a global assessment of fibrin.
An elevated result usually indicates a fibrinogen-related problem. Heparin (Hepalean™), steptokinase or urokinase therapy will affect the thrombin time. Serious liver disease and elevated blood uric acid will have the same effect.
Before going for blood tests, a procedure or other exam, it is best to always bring a list of all the drugs you take (prescription, OTC and natural health products). Unless told otherwise, you should take your medication as usual on the day of the test. When in doubt, ask your pharmacist for more information.
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