Euglobulin lysis time
Euglobulin lysis time (ELT) is a blood test that looks at how fast clots break down in the blood.
Euglobulin clot lysis; Fibrinolysis/euglobulin lysis; ELT
How the test is performed
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see Venipuncture
The laboratory specialist will run tests on the blood sample to see how fast blood clots dissolve. The dissolving of blood clots is called fibrinolysis.
How to prepare for the test
No special preparation is usually needed.
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
The test can also be used to monitor patients who are on streptokinase or urokinase therapy for acute MI (heart attack).
A normal value will range from 90 minutes to 6 hours. Euglobulin clot lysis is normally complete within 2 to 4 hours.
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What abnormal results mean
A longer-than-normal ELT time may be due to:
A shorter-than-normal ELT time may be due to:
- Blood vessel injury or surgery
- Cancer of the prostate
- Fibrinogen deficiency
- Pregnancy complications (for example, antepartum hemorrhage, hydatidiform mole, amniotic embolism)
- Thrombocytopenia purpura
The test may also be done to diagnose or rule out:
- Spontaneous abortion
- Primary thrombocythemia
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)
Heavy exercise can cause a shorter-than-normal ELT time.
Increasing age and certain medicines, including corticosteroids, ACTH, streptokinase, and urokinase can cause a longer-than-normal ELT time.
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 A. 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.
Last reviewed 2/28/2011 by 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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