URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/coagulation-factor-tests/

Coagulation Factor Tests

What are Coagulation Factor Tests?

Coagulation factors are proteins in the blood that help control bleeding. You have several different coagulation factors in your blood. When you get a cut or other injury that causes bleeding, your coagulation factors work together to form a blood clot. The clot stops you from losing too much blood. This process is called the coagulation cascade.

Coagulation factor tests are blood tests that check the function of one or more of your coagulation factors. Coagulation factors are known by Roman numerals (I, II VIII, etc.) or by name (fibrinogen, prothrombin, hemophilia A, etc.). If any of your factors are missing or defective, it can lead to heavy, uncontrolled bleeding after an injury.

Other names: blood clotting factors, factor assays, factor assay by number (Factor I, Factor II, Factor VIII, etc.) or by name (fibrinogen, prothrombin, hemophilia A, hemophilia B, etc.)

What is it used for?

A coagulation factor test is used to find out if you have a problem with any of your coagulation factors. If a problem is found, you likely have a condition known as a bleeding disorder. There are different types of bleeding disorders. Bleeding disorders are very rare. The most well-known bleeding disorder is hemophilia. Hemophilia is caused when coagulation factors VIII or IX are missing or defective.

You may be tested for one or more factors at a time.

Why do I need a coagulation factor test?

You may need this test if you have a family history of bleeding disorders. Most bleeding disorders are inherited. That means it is passed down from one or both of your parents.

You may also need this test if your health care provider thinks you have a bleeding disorder that is not inherited. Although uncommon, other causes of bleeding disorders include:

In addition, you may need a coagulation factor test if you have symptoms of a bleeding disorder. These include:

  • Heavy bleeding after an injury
  • Easy bruising
  • Swelling
  • Pain and stiffness
  • An unexplained blood clot. In some bleeding disorders, the blood clots too much, rather than too little. This can be dangerous, because when a blood clot travels in your body, it can cause a heart attack, stroke, or other life-threatening conditions.

What happens during a coagulation factor test?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don't need any special preparations for a coagulation factor test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

If your results show one of your coagulation factors is missing or not working right, you probably have some kind of bleeding disorder. The type of disorder depends on which factor is affected. While there is no cure for inherited bleeding disorders, there are treatments available that can manage your condition.

References

  1. American Heart Association [Internet]. Dallas: American Heart Association Inc.; c2017. What is Excessive Blood Clotting (Hypercoagulation)? [updated 2015 Nov 30; cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/What-Is-Excessive-Blood-Clotting-Hypercoagulation_UCM_448768_Article.jsp
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Hemophilia: Facts [updated 2017 Mar 2; cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/facts.html
  3. Hinkle J, Cheever K. Brunner & Suddarth's Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. 2nd Ed, Kindle. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; c2014. Coagulation Factor Assay; 156–7 p.
  4. Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center [Internet]. Indianapolis: Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center Inc.; c2011–2012. Bleeding Disorders [cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: http://www.ihtc.org/patient/blood-disorders/bleeding-disorders
  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. Johns Hopkins Medicine; Health Library: Coagulation Disorders [cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/pediatrics/coagulation_disorders_22,coagulationdisorders
  6. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Coagulation Factors: The Test [updated 2016 Sep 16; cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/coagulation-factors/tab/test
  7. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Coagulation Factors: The Test Sample [updated 2016 Sep 16; cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/coagulation-factors/tab/sample
  8. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Internet]. Kenilworth (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc.; c2017. Overview of Blood Clotting Disorders [cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/blood-disorders/bleeding-due-to-clotting-disorders/overview-of-blood-clotting-disorders
  9. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; What Are the Risks of Blood Tests? [updated 2012 Jan 6; cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 5 screens]. Available from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bdt/risks
  10. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; What To Expect with Blood Tests [updated 2012 Jan 6; cited 2017 Oct 30; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bdt/with
  11. National Hemophilia Foundation [Internet]. New York: National Hemophilia Foundation; c2017. Other Factor Deficiencies [cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/Types-of-Bleeding-Disorders/Other-Factor-Deficiencies
  12. National Hemophilia Foundation [Internet]. New York: National Hemophilia Foundation; c2017. What is a Bleeding Disorder [cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/What-is-a-Bleeding-Disorder
  13. Riley Children's Health [Internet]. Carmel (IN): Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health; c2017. Coagulation Disorders [cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.rileychildrens.org/health-info/coagulation-disorders
  14. UF Health: University of Florida Health [Internet]. University of Florida; c2017. Factor X deficiency: Overview [updated 2017 Oct 30; cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://ufhealth.org/factor-x-deficiency
  15. U of L Physicians [Internet]: Louisville (KY): University of Louisville Physicians; c2013. Bleeding disorders [cited 2017 Oct 30]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: http://uoflphysiciansse3.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=117&pid;=1&gid;=001304

The medical information provided is for informational purposes only, and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact your health care provider with questions you may have regarding medical conditions or the interpretation of test results.

In the event of a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.