Fibrin degradation products (FDP) are substances that remain in
your bloodstream after your body dissolves a blood clot. Your fibrinolytic
(clot-busting) system manages and regulates clot dissolving.
When you cut yourself, the injured blood vessel constricts to
stop bleeding and promote healing. This process is called hemostasis. Platelets in your blood
gather together and stick to the injury site to form a plug or clot. The
formation of the plug or clot is called the clotting cascade.
Fibrin is a
protein that aids in clotting. Clotting, also called coagulation, at the wound
site produces a mass of fibrin threads called a net. The net remains in place
until the cut is healed. As the cut heals, the clotting slows down.
Eventually the clot breaks down and dissolves.
When the clot and fibrin net dissolve, fragments of protein are
released into the body. These fragments are fibrin degradation products (FDPs). If your body is unable to
dissolve a clot, you may have abnormal levels of FDPs.
Blood tests can measure your level of FDPs to see if you have a
clotting disorder. The fibrin degradation products test is a specific test that
determines the amount of FDPs in your blood. The test is also known as the
fibrin split products (FSPs) test, or the fibrin breakdown products test.
Is the Test Ordered?
The fibrin degradation products test may be ordered to help
determine if you have the following health conditions:
- deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in a deep
- pulmonary embolism, a blockage in the main
artery of the lung
- kidney disease
The test may also be ordered if you have other clotting disorders,
or if your doctor believes you have disseminated intravascular coagulation
Symptoms of DIC include:
- bleeding gums
- severe muscle pain
- severe abdominal pain
- reduced urine output
The fibrin degradation products test may also be used if you’re
receiving treatment for a clotting disorder. Your doctor will compare test
results to determine if treatment is effective for controlling your symptoms.
Is the Test Administered?
A nurse or lab technician typically administers the fibrin degradation
products test. You’ll need to provide a blood sample.
A nurse or lab technician will draw blood from your arm using a
needle. They’ll collect the blood in a tube and send it to a lab for analysis. Your
doctor will provide you with your results and information on what they mean.
Are the Risks of the Test?
You may experience some discomfort when the blood sample is
drawn. Needle sticks may result in pain at the injection site during the test.
Following the test, you may experience pain or throbbing at the injection site.
In general, the risks of the fibrin degradation products test are
minimal. These risks are common for most routine blood tests and include:
- difficulty obtaining a sample, resulting in
multiple needle sticks
- excessive bleeding at the needle site
- fainting as a result of blood loss
- the accumulation of blood under the skin, known
as a hematoma
- development of infection where the skin is
broken by the needle
for the Test
Certain drugs may increase the level of FDPs in your bloodstream.
- barbiturates (a type of sedative)
- heparin (used to treat blood clots)
- streptokinase (used to dissolve blood clots)
- urokinase (used to dissolve blood clots)
If you use any of these medications, your doctor may tell you to
stop taking them before the test. However, do not stop taking any medications
without talking to your doctor.
Normal results for the fibrin degradation products test are less
than 10 mcg/mL (micrograms per milliliter). However, your results will depend
on the laboratory completing the analysis of your sample. Talk with your doctor
about your results and what they mean. FDP levels that are higher than normal may
indicate a clotting disorder.
A number of different health problems can cause a clotting
- abruption placentae (when the placenta
prematurely separates from the wall of the uterus before the baby is born)
- congenital heart disease
- hypoxia (when the body doesn’t get enough
- intrauterine fetal death (when the baby dies in
- liver disease (cirrhosis)
- renal disease (kidney disease)
- septicemia (bacterial infection in the blood)
- preeclampsia (high blood pressure during
- thromboembolic states (when abnormal blood clots
- transplant rejection (when the body’s immune system
attacks an organ after a transplant)
If your fibrin degradation products level is elevated, you’ll
need to undergo additional testing to determine what’s causing your condition.