Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT) Test
The partial thromboplastin time (PTT) test evaluates the blood's clotting ability by measuring the time it takes for a blood sample to clot. When bleeding due to an injury or a cut, various proteins in the blood collaborate to form a clot, which halts the bleeding. These proteins are referred to as coagulation factors or clotting factors.
A PTT test is used to screen for a specific group of clotting factors. It can assist in determining how many of these clotting factors one has and how well one performs.
A PTT test is frequently carried out along with other tests that assess clotting factors and how well they all work together.
What is it used for?
A PTT test is performed to look for problems with a particular group of blood clotting factors. The test is performed to:
- Identify the cause of excessive bruising or bleeding.
- Find the cause of clotting issues. Some autoimmune illnesses, such as lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome, can be the cause.
- Those taking heparin, a medicine used to prevent and treat blood clots, should be closely monitored. PTT testing can assist in ensuring that the dose is safe and effective.
- Before undergoing surgery or other medical treatments, assess the risk of bleeding.
What happens during a PTT test?
A small needle will be used by a healthcare professional to draw blood from a vein in the arm. After inserting the needle, a small amount of blood will be collected in a test tube or vial. When the needle goes in or out, you may feel a slight sting. This usually takes under five minutes.
How do I prepare for the test?
A PTT test does not necessitate any special preparation.
Are there any risks to the test?
Having a blood test poses very little risk. Individuals may experience minor pain or bruising where the needle was inserted, but most symptoms will subside quickly.
What do the results mean?
The PTT test results will indicate how long it took for your blood to clot. The results are usually given in seconds. A PTT test is frequently ordered with a prothrombin time (PT) test.
A PT test checks for clotting factors that a PTT test does not. The provider will usually compare the results of both tests to understand how your blood clots. Inquire with your provider about the implications of the test results for your health.
In general, if the blood took longer than usual to clot on a PTT test, this could indicate:
- A lack of vitamin K
- Liver disease
- Certain genetic disorders that individuals inherit from their parents. These disorders interrupt certain clotting factors, increasing the risk of bleeding. They include:
- Von Willebrand disease
- Certain types of leukemia
- Too much heparin
- Autoimmune diseases
If the blood clot faster than usual on a PTT test, this could indicate:
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation in its early stages (DIC). If you have an infection or damage to organs or tissues that affects blood clotting, you may develop this rare but serious condition. Individuals have excessive blood clotting in the early stages. Later, DIC begins to deplete clotting factors in the blood, resulting in bleeding problems.
- Cancer of the ovaries,colon, or pancreas has spread to other body parts and is unlikely to be controlled through treatment.
Discuss the test results with the healthcare provider to learn what they mean.