What is PTT?

Ouch! You cut yourself. Time to go through the normal routine: apply some pressure, stop the bleeding, and slap on a bandage if you need one. Seems easy enough from the outside. But inside your body, even a little nick from shaving or a scratch from a pet will kick off a series of complex steps in an effort to stop the bleeding.

One of those steps is to send a bunch of proteins, more commonly known as clotting factors, to the injured area. These proteins work together in a very specific way to make a blood clot, which is basically a solid lump of blood that stops up the bleeding and helps the healing process to begin.

That’s how it’s supposed to work. When it doesn’t, you may find that you bleed or bruise easily or that you get clots in your blood vessels when you shouldn’t.

That’s when your doctor might order a Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT) test. Thromboplastin (TPL) is a plasma protein aiding in blood coagulation through catalyzing the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin. A PTT test looks at thromboplastin by measuring how many seconds it takes for the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin to occur, and ultimately, how long it takes the blood to clot.

A PTT test is often done alongside another test, called the prothrombin time (PT) test, which looks at another set of clotting factors. Together, they give your doctor a more complete picture of what happens in your body when a clot forms.

Your doctor might order this test to check for a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease. Symptoms of bleeding disorders include:

  • Bleeding or bruising easily
  • Blood clots that form when they shouldn’t
  • Blood in your poop or urine
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Heavy menstrual periods in women
  • Nosebleeds
  • Swelling or pain in your joints

You’d also need to get a PTT test if you get heparin therapy, which is a medicine used to prevent or treat blood clots after an issue like a heart attack or stroke. The PTT test helps make sure you get the right dose as you want to prevent dangerous clots, but still let your blood clot when you need it to.

You may also get the test to:

  • Check that your blood clots normally before you go in for surgery
  • Look for a problem with your immune system (some immune system conditions make clots more likely to form)
  • See how well your liver’s working, since it makes the clotting factors

When will I receive my results?

Once completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.

How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?

No preparation or fasting required. Just bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.

Book a PTT