The activated partial thromboplastin test or APTT test is requested when a person is suspected to have disorders that hamper the coagulation system of the body. Clotting of blood is an essential feature that ensures survival. When the body suffers an injury that causes the skin to tear, blood rushes out. But, after a while, the blood flow stops, and a thick substance is seen over the cut. This is a clot, which prevents the blood from flowing out. When the person is healthy, they can form clots at a normal speed and also recover faster.
Hemostasis is a natural healing process that helps the body to stop bleeding. This process aids in coagulation along with clotting factors. The majority of the clotting factors are produced in the liver.
The activated partial thromboplastin test or APTT test is prescribed when a person shows symptoms of having conditions that affect the coagulation of blood or deficiencies that result in slow or no clotting of blood. Symptoms or conditions that prompt a doctor to prescribe the APTT test are:
Thromboplastin is the factor that converts prothrombin to thrombin that forms the clot. The speed with which this conversion is done determines how soon the cut will be sealed and the bleeding stopped. While the clotting time can be calculated with partial thromboplastin time or PTT test, the activated partial thromboplastin time or APTT test adds a catalyst to hasten the clotting time.
In fact, the APTT test is the chosen test for heparin therapy patients as a monitoring and screening test. The activated partial thromboplastin time test evaluates all the clotting factors and pathways that aid in clotting. Calcium and phospholipid emulsion is added to activate the thromboplastin and the time taken for a clot to form is calculated. This result is then compared to the clot formation time taken when the test is performed using the blood sample of a healthy person.
The APTT test is done by collecting blood samples from the patient. Since this test is usually prescribed for patients suffering from clotting disorders or those suspected of having conditions that lead to heavy bleeding, the drawing of blood needs to be done carefully, under observation. Side effects might be nausea or fainting, but they go away when the person rests a bit. Apart from these, the collection of samples poses no serious threats.
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This is a lifelong condition due to improper functioning of the von Willebrand factor.
Yes, the inability to form a clot at a normal speed can be due to genetic factors, like hemophilia.
The normal time taken for a clot to form is between 10 seconds to 13 seconds. The brain gets the signal that a cut has been formed and blood is flowing out. This message is then given to the pathways and factors to do the job of sealing the cut.
When the time taken for the clot to form is longer than the normal time, it indicates that the person can have:
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