Fibrinogen is a soluble protein found in blood plasma. In the process of metabolism, the protein loses its solubility and forms blood clots, falling out in the form of fibrin threads.
Due to this, the blood constantly has the ability to coagulate if the mechanism of thrombus formation is activated in a timely manner – the conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin.
The level of fibrinogen in plasma is of particular importance, since this protein has an active effect in the fight against pathogenic microflora and avoids large blood loss. An increase or decrease in the level of protein can provoke the development of dangerous diseases.
- What is fibrinogen and what functions does it perform in the body?
- Indications for taking a blood test for fibrinogen levels
- The rate of fibrinogen in the blood
- Why does fibrinogen increase
- High fibrinogen in pregnancy
- Fibrinogen below normal
- Symptoms of increased fibrinogen
- Preparation for analysis
- Conducting research
- The solution
What is fibrinogen and what functions does it perform in the body?
Most patients are puzzled by the question: “what is fibrinogen and what functions does it perform in the body?” Fibrinogen is the main protein involved in blood clotting.
Before performing a surgical intervention and with some pathology (a decrease in the functional activity of the liver, a tendency to thrombosis and frequent bleeding, a disturbance in the work of the cardiovascular system), it is recommended to control the level of fibrinogen in the blood.
The main function of fibrinogen is several reactions:
- participation in the formation of a fibrin clot,
- influence on the rate of healing of bleeding wounds,
- regulation of fibrinolysis (reverse breakdown of fibrin),
- improving the interaction of blood cells,
- strengthening the walls of blood vessels,
- relief of the inflammatory process in blood diseases.
If there are certain indications, a specialist may prescribe a blood test for fibrinogen. Based on the results of the research, the doctor determines whether the fibrinogen level is normal. If an increased level of fibrinogen in the blood is detected, then a specialist may prescribe medication that stabilizes the protein index.
Indications for taking a blood test for fibrinogen levels
The analysis for fibrinogen is not a mandatory procedure, but for some indications, the specialist may offer to undergo a study:
- if the doctor suspects hemophilia,
- before and after surgery,
- with pathology of the cardiovascular system,
- with abnormalities in the liver,
- during pregnancy,
- heavy bleeding and suspicion of low blood clotting,
- diseases of infectious etiology,
- extensive injury or burns to the skin,
- in the diagnosis of oncological diseases,
- with inflammatory processes, if the cause of their development is not determined.
If these factors are present, the determination of fibrinogen will necessarily make it possible to diagnose and select the optimal treatment for pathology.
The rate of fibrinogen in the blood
The level of fibrinogen in the blood can be different, depending on the age and gender of the patient. In addition, the concentration of fibrinogen can vary depending on the hormonal status of the patient.
- In an adult, regardless of gender, it is 2–4 g/l.
- In children aged 0–12 months – 1.25–3 g/l.
- In women during pregnancy, the rate of fibrinogen in blood depends on the trimester: in the first 2.98 g/l, in the second 3.1 g/l, in the third – 6-7 g/l.
An increase in the level of fibrinogen in the blood occurs in autoimmune, infectious, inflammatory processes, tissue necrosis, activation of intravascular blood coagulation (thrombosis, thromboembolism, disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome), with normal pregnancy, estrogen treatment.
The appearance of fibrinogen B in the blood indicates intravascular activation of blood coagulation. This condition is observed in the period after surgery, trauma, in patients with malignant tumors, with myocardial infarction and other diseases.
Fibrinogen B (B) is not detected in the blood plasma of healthy people.
Fibrinogen B refers to transformed fibrinogen. The conversion of fibrinogen to fibin monomers occurs under the action of thrombin. In combination with fibrinogen, they are able to react with betanaftol and form water-insoluble compounds.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman may have low levels of fibrinogen in her blood. This phenomenon is associated with the development of toxicosis, but starting from the 2nd trimester, the level of fibrinogen in the blood begins to rise rapidly and reaches its maximum concentration before childbirth.
Why does fibrinogen increase
If, when passing a coagulogram, it turned out that fibrinogen is increased, then this may indicate the development of various pathologies:
- infectious diseases (influenza, ARVI, ARI, etc.),
- diseases that provoke cell death, as well as burns,
- metabolic disorders and the development of dystrophy,
- nephrotic syndrome
- diseases of the thyroid gland, provoking a decrease in the production of hormones,
- taking oral contraceptives,
- surgical interventions of any complexity,
- the appearance of malignant neoplasms.
With the development of these pathologies, blood clotting worsens and in some patients, high fibrinogen in the blood can be observed.
High fibrinogen in pregnancy
The expectant mother has fibrinogen higher than normal, what does this mean and how is it dangerous for a woman and a child? In pregnant women, the rate of fibrinogen in the blood varies depending on the duration of pregnancy. In the first trimester of pregnancy – 2,98 g/l, in the second – 3,1 g/l, in the third – 4,95-6 g/l. If a pregnant woman has an increased fibrinogen in the blood, then this can provoke the development of dangerous consequences for both the mother and the fetus:
- placental abruption,
- the formation of blood clots in the vessels of the umbilical cord,
- premature birth,
- miscarriage in early pregnancy,
- development of thrombophlebitis in the mother,
- the fetus stops developing and dies.
In order to start timely treatment of diseases, it is important to monitor any change in the plasma fibrinogen value. That is why the expectant mother must take a blood test every trimester of pregnancy. This will allow timely recording of any changes in the level of fibrinogen in the blood.
For more information about the analysis for fibrinogen during pregnancy, read a separate article devoted to this topic.
Fibrinogen below normal
As statistics show, not only an increase in protein levels is dangerous for the human body, but also if fibrinogen is low. If fibrinogen is below normal, then the blood clotting process deteriorates and can provoke large blood loss. The reasons for this pathology can be either congenital or acquired. Fibrinogen reduction factor can be observed with the following pathologies:
- DIC syndrome – a violation of blood hemostasis, provoked by the formation of microthrombi in the vessels,
- pathological changes in the liver – cirrhosis, hepatitis, etc.,
- development of toxicosis during pregnancy,
- excess vitamin C and B12,
- poisoning with snake venom,
- taking anticoagulants,
- amniotic fluid embolism,
- an increase in blood cells,
- taking certain groups of medications (anabolic steroids, antidepressants, etc.),
- taking antioxidants,
- with frequent use of alcoholic beverages in small doses.
If the amount of plasma fibrinogen is below 0,5–1 g/l, then blood clotting worsens and the patient may experience severe internal bleeding.
Symptoms of increased fibrinogen
Despite the fact that an increase in fibrinogen is accompanied by signs of pathological changes that caused a change in the level of protein, the patient may also have some specific symptoms:
- high blood pressure
- dry mouth and constant thirst
- painful sensations in the sternum,
- numbness of the limbs and muscle weakness,
- increased sweating,
- headaches, squeezing character.
If a person has noticed one or more of these signs, then you need to visit a doctor without delay. Such symptoms signal that the patient has high fibrinogen. But they are certainly not specific.
As mentioned earlier, if the concentration of fibrinogen changes, then the natural process of blood clotting is disrupted. At high rates, there is a risk of blood clots and myocardial infarction, and at a low plasma level of a person, bleeding may open. In order to lower or, conversely, increase fibrin in the blood, it is important to identify the reasons that triggered this process.
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Preparation for analysis
In order for the test result to be as truthful as possible, before conducting a study on the concentration of fibrinogen, it is important to adhere to some recommendations:
- on the eve of the test, it is better for the patient not to eat heavy food, it is recommended to do with low-calorie meals (salads, boiled chicken with a vegetable side dish, etc.),
- there is nothing to eat immediately before the test, since blood for fibrinogen is donated on an empty stomach, otherwise the test results may be incorrect,
- two hours before the analysis, the patient is forbidden to smoke, because of this, the patient may have an increased fibrinogen in the blood,
- it is allowed to drink only water without gas from the liquid, since when drinking sweet or carbonated drinks, the level of fibrin increases in some patients,
- avoid various nervous shocks, stress negatively affects not only the entire body as a whole, but also affect the fibrin level in the blood.
If during the analysis it is determined that fibrinogen is normal there is no reason for panic. But even if the fibrin index: low or high, do not worry, sometimes the discrepancy with the normal protein index is due to improper preparation for the study.
As it was found out, the functions of fibrinogen in the blood are high and it is important to approach its determination with maximum responsibility. Analysis of the definition of fibrinogen according to Klaus – what is it? In this study, blood is taken from the patient and the concentration of fibrin is determined, as well as the rate of blood clotting.
If the patient is all right, then after piercing the finger, the blood should stop by itself after 5 minutes.
Prothrombosed index – two indicators are compared: the coagulability of the sample and the coagulability of the collected blood. Normally, a ratio of 93-107% should be observed. If the indicator is less, then this indicates a low blood fibrinogen, which means that there is a risk of bleeding.
The time for the conversion of plasma-dissolved fibrinogen b to fibrin can vary from 15 to 18 seconds.
What does a biochemical blood test show? With the help of this study, a specialist assesses the blood clotting rate, if it is below the established norm, then this indicates the development of pathologies.
“How to reduce fibrinogen?” – this question worries many patients who are faced with an increase in this indicator in the blood. It is important to remember that therapy for reducing fibrinogen in the blood should be aimed not only at reducing the symptoms of pathology, but also directly at the factors of the development of the disease.
- Infectious diseases – anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs are prescribed.
- Hypothyroidism – It is important to choose a therapy that normalizes hormone production.
- Tissue necrosis is an operation, during which all dead tissues and blood vessels are removed.
- Liver pathology – hepatoprotectors are prescribed, which contribute to the restoration of liver cells and allow to normalize the functionality of the organ.
- While taking medications, it is enough to stop taking the drug or use its analogues.
- Malignant neoplasms – chemotherapy or surgery is prescribed, followed by the removal of cancer cells.
- Snakebite – a special serum is prescribed to neutralize the effect of the poison.
- If you have never had health problems, then a specialist can prescribe a course of vitamin C. Sometimes a change in the fibrinogen index in the blood is due to a lack of this vitamin.
As an additional means to reduce the concentration of fibrinogen in the blood, you can use some foods:
- bitter chocolate,
It is important to remember that with an increase in fibrinogen, complex treatment is required, which can only be prescribed by a specialist. Any attempt at self-medication can lead to dangerous consequences.
If during the analysis, any deviations were identified, the patient is advised to adhere to all the doctor’s prescriptions and lead a healthy lifestyle.