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Fibrin degradation products

Fibrin degradation products (FDPs) are the substances left behind when clots dissolve in the blood. This article discusses the blood test to measure these products.

Alternative Names

FDPs; FSPs; Fibrin split products; Fibrin breakdown products

How the test is performed

A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture

The blood is sent to a laboratory. The laboratory specialist will run tests on the blood sample to measure the products that are left behind when blood clots dissolve.

How to prepare for the test

Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking certain drugs before the test. Drugs that may increase FDPs include barbiturates, heparin, streptokinase, and urokinase.

Do not stop taking any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

How the test will feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

Why the test is performed

This test is done to see if your clot-dissolving (fibrinolytic) system is working properly. Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) or another clot-dissolving disorder.

Normal Values

The result is normally less than 10 micrograms per milliliter (mcg/mL).

Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

The example above shows the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

What abnormal results mean

Increased FDPs may be a sign of primary or secondary fibrinolysis (clot-dissolving activity) due to a variety of causes, including:

What the risks are

There is very little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

References

Liebman HA, Weitz IC. Disseminated intravascular coagulation. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr., Shattil SJ, et al, eds. Hoffman Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008:chap 132.

Lijnen HR, Collen D. Molecular and cellular basis of fibrinolysis. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr., Shattil SJ, et al, eds. Hoffman Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008:chap 119.

Schafer AI. Hemorrhagic disorders: Disseminated intravascular coagulation, liver failure, and vitamin K deficiency. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 181.

Updated: 2/28/2011

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.


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