What is a blood clotting factor (coagulation) concentration test?
A blood clotting factor concentration test is a procedure performed to determine the ability and duration of the blood clotting process in the body. This test is also known as the coagulation factor concentration test.
Blood clotting factors are proteins contained in the blood to control bleeding. In your blood, there are various types of clotting factors.
When there is a cut or other injury that causes bleeding, these clotting factors will work together to form a blood clot or clot. This way, the bleeding can be controlled and you won’t lose too much blood.
Clotting factors are usually named with Roman numerals, such as clotting factor IV, VIII, and XI. If one of the clotting factors is damaged or the amount is reduced, bleeding is difficult to stop.
Blood clotting factor concentration test is done by measuring the activity of clotting factors in the blood. From there, the medical team can see which clotting factors are not functioning normally.
By doing this test, your doctor can detect how much risk of bleeding will happen to you if you are injured.
When should I have a blood clotting factor concentration test?
Your doctor will do this test if:
- Doctors want to know the cause of bleeding in your body
- You experience symptoms of bleeding that are uncontrollable and difficult to stop
- When will you take warfarin (a blood thinner) to help stop the dose
- Performed to detect inherited diseases, such as hemophilia
- Check if you are deficient in vitamin K. Vitamin K is an important substance in the blood clotting process
- Test whether you are ready for surgery or not
- Check whether the liver functions properly, because the liver produces substances important in the blood clotting process
- Check whether the bleeding that happened to you could have a heart attack or stroke
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before taking this test?
Here are a few factors that can affect your test results:
- Some types of protein are sensitive to heat. Therefore, the concentration of blood clotting factors will decrease if the sample is stored at temperatures that are too warm or too hot
- According to the site University of Rochester, taking aspirin or other NSAID drugs can affect test results.
It is important that you know the warnings and precautions before taking a blood clotting factor concentration test so that the results can be as accurate as possible. If you have any questions, consult your doctor for further information and instructions.
What should I do before taking this test?
No special preparations need to be made to undergo this test. However, there are some medications that can change your results, so you should tell your doctor about any medications you are currently taking (prescription and over-the-counter), including supplements and vitamins.
You should wear short-sleeved clothing to make it easier for the medical team to draw your blood.
How is the blood clotting factor concentration test process?
Like any medical examination using other blood samples, the test for the concentration of clotting factors is performed by taking a blood sample from a vein. The location for drawing blood is in the crease of the elbow.
After the blood draw is complete, the sample will be taken to a laboratory to analyze blood clotting (coagulation) factors in your body.
Along with a blood clotting factor concentration test, the medical team may also check your blood sample with additional procedures, such as:
Prothrombin time (PT) and partial thromboplastin time (PTT)
In a blood clotting factor concentration test, the first thing to do is prothrombin time (PT) and partial thromboplastin time (PTT). This PT and PTT examination aims to find out how long it takes the body to form a blood clot.
Complete blood count test (complete blood count)
The doctor will also run a complete blood count or test complete blood count (CBC). This test will measure the total number of pieces of your blood, from red blood cells to white blood cells.
What should I do after taking this test?
After taking the blood clotting factor (coagulation) concentration test, you can immediately start your normal activities. Side effects may appear but are mild and will go away on their own, such as pain at the injection site and dizziness.
An explanation of the test results
What do my test results mean?
If the activity or concentration of your blood clotting factors is normal, it means that the blood clotting process in your body is running normally.
There is a normal range for each blood clotting factor, and they usually vary. However, generally a normal test result is described as 100%. For example, if your blood clotting factor is 30%, this is considered abnormal.
In the case of hemophilia A disease, the reduced blood clotting factor is clotting factor VIII. Normal levels of clotting factor VIII are 50-150 percent.
If the level of activity of clotting factor VIII in your body is between 5-40%, you may experience mild hemophilia symptoms.
Depending on your chosen laboratory, the normal range of these tests may vary. In addition, other factors that can affect the test results are age, gender, and history of illness.
Discuss any questions you have about your medical test results with your doctor.