Fibrinogen is a proteinaceous coagulation factor that plays an essential role in the blood clotting process. Thrombin (an enzyme present in the blood) produces fibrin fibres from fibrinogen, which form a fibrin network. The fibrin network, together with the adherent platelets, forms a blood clot to prevent further blood loss.
The cagulation system works properly if the clot is formed solely at the site of injury. If the activation of the blood clotting system is excessive, clot formation in the vascular system is scattered (in several places), which can lead to abnormal clotting and thus indirectly to the formation of a thrombus (blood clot).
The test helps assess whether the body is able to create and dissolve blood clots, thus ensuring a steady state.
Elevated fibrinogen levels present a moderate risk of blood clot formation, which may also predict the risk of developing cardiovascular disease over time. However, elevated fibrinogen concentrations are usually temporary and can be triggered by several conditions: acute infection, cancer, inflammatory diseases, trauma, infarction, or stroke. When the triggering condition disappears, the value returns to the normal range.