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Euglobulin lysis time

Definition

Euglobulin lysis time (ELT) is a blood test that looks at how fast clots breakdown in the blood.

Alternative Names

Euglobulin clot lysis; Fibrinolysis/euglobulin lysis; ELT

How the test is performed

The health care provider uses a needle to take blood from one of your veins. For information on giving a blood sample from a vein, see venipuncture.

The laboratory specialist will run tests on the blood sample to see how fast blood clots dissolve. The dissolving of blood clots is called fibrinolysis.

How to prepare for the test

No special preparation is usually necessary.

How the test will feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

Why the test is performed

This is one of the best tests to tell the difference between primary fibrinolysis and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

The test can also be used to monitor patients who are on streptokinase or urokinase therapy for acute MI (heart attack).

Normal Values

A normal value will range from 90 minutes to 6 hours. Euglobulin clot lysis is normally complete within 2 to 4 hours.

What abnormal results mean

A longer-than-normal ELT time may be due to:

A shorter-than-normal ELT time may be due to:

The test may also be done to diagnose or rule out:

What the risks are

There is very little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood 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 light-headed
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

Special considerations

Heavy exercise can cause a shorter-than-normal ELT time.

Increasing age and certain medicines, including corticosteroids, ACTH, streptokinase, and urokinase can cause a longer-than-normal ELT time.

References

Schafer A. Hemorrhagic disorders: Disseminated intravascular coagulation, liver failure, and vitamin K deficiency. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 181.


Review Date: 3/2/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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