23 Sep What is a PTT Blood Test, and Can You Get it at Home?
What is a PTT blood test? What are the potential benefits of getting tested? How will you know when to get a PTT test? What is the difference between a DIY PTT test and a PTT test from an in-home medical service? Continue reading to find out the answers to each of these questions.
What is a PTT blood test?
A PTT (partial thromboplastin time) test measures how long it takes for your body to form a blood clot. When you bleed because of a cut or an injury, proteins in your blood called coagulation factors are supposed to work together to form a blood clot that will help stop the bleeding and keep you from losing too much blood.
There are several coagulation factors in your blood, and if any factors are defective or missing, it can take longer than normal for a blood clot to form. This can sometimes cause heavy, uncontrolled bleeding. A PTT test checks the function of specific coagulation factors, including factor VIII (8), factor IX (9), factor XI (11), and factor XII (12).
Other names for a PTT test are activated partial thromboplastin time, PTT, and intrinsic pathway coagulation factor profile.
What are the potential benefits of getting a PTT test?
As stated above, a PTT test checks the function of specific coagulation factors to see if any are defective or missing. You might have a bleeding disorder if you have defective or missing coagulation factors. Bleeding disorders are rare but can cause your blood to clot abnormally. Hemophilia is the most well-known bleeding disorder.
A PTT test can also determine if there is another reason (other than a bleeding disorder) for excessive bleeding and other clotting problems. For example, autoimmune diseases cause your immune system to attack coagulation factors.
Finally, a PTT test can monitor if you are on the medication heparin, which prevents clotting. Some bleeding disorders can make your blood clot too much rather than too little. Clotting too much can cause you to have a heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening conditions. However, taking too much heparin can cause excessive and dangerous amounts of bleeding.
How will I know when to get a PTT test?
You may need a PTT test if any of the following applies to you:
- You are taking heparin
- You bruise easily
- You have a blood clot in one of your arteries or veins
- You have had multiple miscarriages
- You have liver disease, which can sometimes cause problems with blood clotting
- You have unexplained heavy bleeding
- You will be having surgery soon because surgery can cause blood loss, so it’s important to know beforehand if you have a clotting problem
What is the difference between a DIY PTT test and a PTT test from an in-home medical service?
Most companies that sell and analyze DIY PTT tests do not provide any explanation of your results or any follow-up services at all. If you choose to have an in-home PTT test from Concierge MD, we will save you the trip to the pharmacy by sending a medical staff member to your home to administer the test. They will then send the blood sample to our lab. When the results are ready, we will contact you to explain what they mean and discuss any next steps you may need to take, such as a follow-up appointment with your regular doctor so they can begin treatment or do further testing if necessary.
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