Plasma fibrinogen measurement is used to detect increased or decreased concentrations of acquired or congenital etiology, and to monitor the course and treatment of disseminated intravascular coagulation and fibrinolysis.
Fibrinogen (coagulation factor I) is a polypeptide that is synthesized in the liver. During hemostasis, thrombin stimulates fibrin formation by fibrinogen. This fibrin, by the addition of the fibrin-stabilizing factor (coagulation factor XIII), forms a constant fibrin clot at the injury site.
Measurement of fibrinogen levels is used in the investigation of possible hemorrhagic disorders, especially when other coagulation tests, such as prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), fibrin degradation products, and D-dimers are pathological. Fibrinogen measurement can also be used to monitor the state of progressive liver disease.
There are several ongoing studies investigating the importance of elevated fibrinogen levels. They can slightly increase a person's risk of developing blood clots, and over time could increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Although elevated fibrinogen levels cannot be treated, their presence may indicate the need for treatment of other modifiable risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Rheumatoid arthritis, familial Mediterranean fever, hepatitis, acute infection, menstruation. Medications: Estrogens, contraceptives
- Decrease: Abortion, anemia (acquired hemolytic), severe burns, cancer (prostate, lung, metastatic), fibrinogen inhibitors, cirrhosis, coagulation factors deficiency, congenital fibrinogen disorders (afibrinogenemia, hypofibrinogenemia, dysfibrinogenemia), cryoglobulinemia, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), eclampsia, embolism (amniotic fluid, fat, meconium), leukemia, lymphoma, macroglobulinemia, multiple myeloma, sepsis, shock, snake bite, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, transfusion reaction, trauma. Medications: Asparaginase, bezafibrate, perindopril, phenobarbital drugs, streptokinase, ticlopidine, urokinase.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.