Thrombin is an enzyme in the blood, which, together with fibrinogen, helps blood clotting. Thrombin time indicates fibrinogen activity. During the blood clotting process, thrombin converts fibrinogen to form fibrin fibres that form a fibrin scaffold. The fibrin scaffold, along with the adherent platelets, creates a blood clot that prevents further blood loss. Thrombin time characterizes the stage in the blood clotting process when fibrin fibres are formed from dissolved fibrinogen.
What is the purpose of the test?
The goal of the test is to examine the dysfunction of the blood coagulation system (increased bleeding, abnormal blood clots), and to evaluate fibrinogen levels and function
In which cases is it recommended to perform the test?
Following thrombotic events, recurrent miscarriages, prolonged prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), or suspected heparin contamination based on blood samples.
Prothrombin time (PT): The time interval, in seconds, from the start of the coagulation process to the formation of the clot.
What sample is needed for the test?
A blood sample taken from a vein is needed for the test.
What can the result indicate?
Significantly prolonged thrombin time is mostly due to heparin contamination of the blood sample, heparin-like substances, or fibrinogen or fibrin degradation products. Contamination may occur if the patient is receiving heparin therapy (regular use of heparin to leach venous cannulas to prevent clotting). Severe liver disease and abnormal nutritional status also lead to prolonged thrombin time. Prolonged thrombin time may indicate decreased fibrinogen levels.
What to do after the test?
In all cases, please consult the specialist or internist who ordered the test with the result.