What is lupus anticoagulant test?
The lupus anticoagulant test is a blood test that is used to detect the presence of lupus anticoagulants in the blood. Lupus anticoagulant is an autoantibody that interferes with the blood clotting process and can increase the risk of blood clots or bleeding.
The lupus anticoagulant test is usually performed along with other tests to diagnose antiphospholipid syndrome, a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks certain proteins in the blood, leading to blood clots or pregnancy complications. The test is also ordered when a person has had unexplained blood clots or a prolonged clotting time.
The lupus anticoagulant test involves a series of coagulation tests, including the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), dilute Russell viper venom time (dRVVT), and a clotting time assay. These tests are used to detect the presence of lupus anticoagulant activity in the blood. A positive result indicates the presence of lupus anticoagulant activity, but further testing and evaluation by a healthcare provider is necessary to determine the significance of the result.
What are the uses of the lupus anticoagulant test?
The lupus anticoagulant test is primarily used to help diagnose antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a condition that can cause blood clots in veins and arteries.
The lupus anticoagulant test is also used to investigate the cause of recurrent miscarriages. APS is associated with an increased risk of pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, stillbirth, and pre-eclampsia.
In addition, the lupus anticoagulant test may be ordered if a person has a history of unexplained blood clots or if they have a prolonged clotting time.
How is the lupus anticoagulant test done?
The lupus anticoagulant test is a blood test that is typically performed in a laboratory or clinic. The healthcare provider will insert a needle and draw blood from the arm vein.
In the laboratory, the blood sample will undergo a series of coagulation tests, such as the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), dilute Russell viper venom time (dRVVT), and/or a clotting time assay.
Understanding test results
The results of the lupus anticoagulant test can be reported in different ways depending on the laboratory or clinic performing the test. However, a positive result typically means that there is lupus anticoagulant activity in the blood. A negative result means that there is no evidence of lupus anticoagulant activity.
It is important to note that a positive result does not necessarily mean that a person has antiphospholipid syndrome or is at increased risk for blood clots. Further testing and evaluation by a healthcare provider is necessary to determine the significance of a positive result.
In addition, a positive lupus anticoagulant test result can also be seen in other conditions, such as:
Important information to know about this test
It is important to note that some medications, such as heparin, warfarin, and direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), can interfere with the lupus anticoagulant test results. Therefore, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of any medications you are taking before undergoing the test.