Thromboplastin is an enzyme that helps in blood coagulation with a function of catalyzing prothrombin to thrombin conversion. It is a very intricate enzyme that can be found in diverse tissues including the lung, brains, and more predominantly the blood platelets.
Thromboplastin was being originally extracted from placental resources to be used as a lab reagent to analyse prothrombin times (PT). This enzyme that works in the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin is also known as thrombokinase.
1. It is known as Tissue Factor
Thromboplastin is synonymously sometimes known as the protein Tissue Factor in misconception. Another name for Tissue Factor is Coagulation Factor III. It has several other names like CD142, factor III, platelet tissue factor, tissue thromboplastin, etc. However, thromboplastin is a combination of phospholipids and tissue factor that are essential in the activation of the extrinsic pathway.
Tissue Factor is a protein which is available in leukocytes and subendothelial tissue crucial for the formation of thrombin from the zymogen prothrombin. Thromboplastin simply characterizes the phase of coagulation that results in factor X activation – which is the tissue factor pathway.
2. Partial thromboplastin
Partial thromboplastin is a derivative that can be produced after lab manipulation. It is merely phospholipids without the tissue factor. For the activation of the extrinsic pathway, both phospholipids and tissue factor will be needed. While tissue factor is not needed in the activation of the intrinsic pathway.
PTT or Partial thromboplastin time is a test of blood cells that evaluates the time taken by blood to form a clot. PTT test is usually done to test out problems related to bleeding.
3. Partial Thromboplastin Time test
Blood is coagulated by essential blood clotting factors. Partial thromboplastin time has proven as a significant test in determining the time taken by the blood to coagulate. The time can be affected by various factors which includes the following:
• Increased utilization of the clotting factors
• Inhibitors that affects the clotting factors
• Lack of some clotting factors
• Modification in the movement of some clotting factors
• High levels of blood coagulating factors
4. Partial thromboplastin time is important for various reasons
There are some cases when it becomes necessary to do Partial thromboplastin time. Here are some:
• It is used to verify the performance of the liver.
• It is used to ensure that the surgery or procedure is safe to perform.
• It is used to check potential conditions that may cause clotting difficulties. Conditions like lupus anticoagulant disorder or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome is observed when the immune system starts generating the antibodies that assault the blood clotting factors. This will lead to blood clotting in arteries and veins.
• It is important for checking levels of blood coagulating factors. The absence of some coagulating factors can lead to bleeding syndromes like hemophilia.
• It is used to identify factors behind irregular bruising or bleeding.
5. PTT Test Preparation
There are number of medicines available in the market that can alter the results of the examination. You have to ensure talking with your doctor about prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking. Proper preparation is needed to achieve reliable results.
6. Steps involved in the process of examination
Let’s have a look at some important steps that are considered for the evaluation. During the test for Partial thromboplastin time, your upper arm is wrapped by an elastic band to make sure your blood does not flow speedily. By doing this, the veins beneath the band becomes large that it be found easily and it makes it better for laying a needle into the vein.
• Needle site is cleansed with alcohol.
• Needle is inserted into the vein.
• A tube is attached to the needle so that it can fill with blood.
• After collecting enough amount of blood, the band is removed from the arm.
• After the removal of needle, a cotton ball or gauze pad is placed at the site.
• Pressure is made at the needle site and after that a bandage is applied.
- Ana Bronić, Desiree Coen Herak, Sandra Margetić, & Marija Milić (2019). Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine: National recommendations for blood collection, processing, performance and reporting of results for coagulation screening assays prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, thrombin time, fibrinogen and D-dimer.
7. You may feel strange after the test
This examination is performed with a need to take blood sample from your vein. When a stretchy band is placed in the region of your upper arm you may feel tense. You may also not feel anything from the needle, but usually it feels like a swift pinch or sting.
8. Some risks are also involved when doing Partial thromboplastin time test
There are small chances of developing problems after taking out blood sample from the vein. But some risks are possible:
• Probably, you will get a tiny bruise at the place where the needle was inserted. But you can lessen the possibility of bruising by maintaining pressure on the needle site for some minutes.
• There are some rare cases when your vein may develop a swelling after taking the blood sample. This situation is usually known as phlebitis. But the same can be treated by applying a warm compress many times in a day.
• People who are suffering from some kind of bleeding syndromes may face difficulties with continuous bleeding. And the regular consumption of warfarin (like Coumadin), aspirin, and other types of blood-thinning drugs can make the flow of blood more likely continuous.
• In case you have any kind of clotting or bleeding disorders, or if you consume blood-thinning medication, it will be better to inform your doctor before taking a blood sample.
9. There are some factors that can affect the test
Here are some basic reasons you are not eligible to go through the test or why you cannot get accurate results:
• You are making use of natural remedies or herbal products that can alter results
• You are taking some medications like antihistamines
10. Carefully consider a few things
Activated partial thromboplastin time and partial thromboplastin time can be normal for those people who have hereditary bleeding syndromes but showing merely gentle signs. People who make use of heparin may also display a higher APTT that is due to other elements in their blood, and not due to the blood-thinning medications. In this case, heparin neutralization test may be tried.
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