Fibrinopeptide A blood testFPA
Fibrinopeptide A is a substance released as blood clots in your body. A test can be done to measure the level of this substance in your blood.
How the Test is Performed
A blood sample is needed.
Venipuncture is the collection of blood from a vein. It is most often done for laboratory testing.
How to Prepare for the Test
No special preparation is necessary.
How the Test will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is used to help diagnose severe problems with blood clotting such as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Certain types of leukemia are associated with DIC.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation is a serious disorder in which the proteins that control blood clotting become overactive.
In general, the level of fibrinopeptide A should range from 0.6 to 1.9 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or may test different specimens. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
An increased fibrinopeptide A level may be a sign of:
- DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation)
- Leukemia at the time of diagnosis, during early treatment, and during a relapse
- Some infections
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample 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 lightheaded
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
Levi M. Disseminated intravascular coagulation. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, Anastasi J, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 141.
Schmaier AH, Miller JL. Coagulation and fibrinolysis. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 39.
Review Date: 3/13/2015
Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.