The prothrombin time test measures how quickly your blood clots. This test is sometimes called PT and sometimes called Pro Time Test.
This test is done with the help of a blood sample. Prothrombin is a type of protein made by our liver. It is one of the many factors in the clotting of our blood.
Apart from this, there are many factors, which help in clotting our blood. If you take blood thinners (such as warfarin/Coumadin), your prothrombin time test results are expressed as the International Normalized Ratio (INR).
What is a prothrombin time test?
Prothrombin time test is used to diagnose and treat bleeding disorders. Apart from bleeding disorders, this test also checks for the problem of excessive clotting.
The result in this test is measured by the International Normalized Ratio (INR). This is used to find out how well the blood thinner medicine is working.
Why it is done?
Your doctor may recommend a prothrombin time test for the following reasons:
- To assess the effect of any blood-thinning medicines you are taking.
- To treat liver problems.
- To know your body’s ability to clot blood before surgery.
The prothrombin time test is one of the tests that is done on patients waiting for liver transplants. This screening is called a model for patients with end-stage liver disease.
This gives an idea of the severity of chronic liver disease. Along with this test, the doctor may advise you to do some more tests to check the liver.
The doctor may ask you to have the following tests along with the prothrombin time test:
- If liver disease is suspected, further tests may be suggested.
- May separately recommend a clotting function test if a bleeding disorder is suspected.
Before Prothrombin Time Test
A blood sample is needed for this test. In most cases, you do not need to do any new preparation before the test.
Some medicines can affect your test results, so if you are taking any kind of medicine prescribed by a doctor or without any doctor’s recommendation, then definitely tell your doctor about it. Even if you do any kind of home remedy, then also tell your doctor about it.
During Prothrombin Time Test
To conduct the Prothrombin test, a blood sample is taken in the same way as in other blood tests. First, the skin is cleaned with alcohol around the vein from which the blood is to be drawn.
After this, an elastic band is tied to the place from where the blood sample is to be taken. This stops the flow of blood from that place, due to which the blood vessels emerge.
Now it becomes easier to take a blood sample from the vein from that place. After this, a blood sample is taken by pricking the needle.
There is already a vial on the other end of the needle. The blood is collected in this vial. After this, as soon as the needle is removed, cotton is kept in that place to stop bleeding.
After Prothrombin Time Test
After taking the blood sample, it will be sent to the lab for testing. If the blood test is also done at the place where the sample is taken or the lab is nearby, then you can get your blood report within a few hours.
If your doctor sends your blood sample outside for testing, it may take several days for you to get the blood report. In some specialized clinics, nurses can take a blood sample from your finger with a finger stick and give the result within minutes.
What are the risks of this Test?
The PT (prothrombin time) test has the same risks as other types of blood tests. That is, from the place where the blood sample is taken, you may have complaints like slight prickling, pain, and or slight swelling.
Prothrombin Time Test Result and Normal Range
The result of the PT (prothrombin time) test can mean the following:
If your blood clots very slowly, it could be due to the following reasons:
- You take any medicine that thins the blood.
- There is some kind of problem with your liver.
- Inadequate amount of blood clotting proteins.
- Vitamin K deficiency.
- Lack of other substances in the body, which work to clot the blood.
If your blood clots too quickly, it could be due to the following reasons:
- You are taking too many Vitamin K supplements or eating more foods rich in vitamin K such as broccoli, chickpeas, green tea, bananas, turnip vegetables and products made from soybeans.
- Probably, you are taking medicines containing estrogens, such as birth control medicines and hormone replacement therapy.
Prothrombin time test cost
The Prothrombin time test cost may vary from city to city. However, if we talk about the average price range, the PT test price may range from – 200 to 500 INR depending on the city and lab.