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Fibrin degradation products

Definition

Fibrin degradation products (FDPs) are the substances left behind when clots dissolve in the blood. Blood tests can be done to measure these products.

Alternative Names

FDPs; FSPs; Fibrin split products; Fibrin breakdown products

How the Test is Performed

A sample of blood is taken from your vein.

The blood is sent to a lab where tests are done to  measure the products that are left behind when blood clots dissolve.

How to Prepare for the Test

You may need to stop taking some medicines 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

You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted to draw blood. There may be some throbbing afterward.

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 Results

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:

Risks

There is very little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size so it may be harder to take a blood sample from one person than another.

Other slight risks from  having blood drawn 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

Brummel-Ziedins K. Mann KG. Molecular basis of blood coagulation. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 128.

Levi M. Disseminated intravascular coagulation. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 128.

Schafer AI. Hemorrhagic disorders: Disseminated intravascular coagulation, liver failure, and vitamin K deficiency. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 178.


Review Date: 3/3/2013
Reviewed By: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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