HS CRP C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein that the liver makes when there is inflammation in the body. It's also called a marker of inflammation, and can be measured with an hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) test, sometimes also called a CRP test. Inflammation is a way for the body to protect itself from injuries or infections, and inflammation can be caused by smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Excessive inflammation has been linked to heart disease.
A fibrinogen activity test is ordered as part of an investigation of a possible bleeding disorder or thrombotic episode. It may be ordered as a follow-up to an abnormal Prothrombin Time (PT) or Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT) and/or an episode of prolonged or unexplained bleeding. It may be measured, along with tests such as PT, PTT, platelet function tests, fibrin degradation products (FDP), and D-dimer to help diagnose disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) or abnormal fibrinolysis. Occasionally, a fibrinogen activity test is ordered to help monitor the status of a progressive disease (such as liver disease) over time, or rarely, to monitor treatment of an acquired condition (such as DIC).
Sometimes a fibrinogen activity test is ordered, along with other cardiac risk markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), to help determine a person's overall risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This use of the test has not gained widespread acceptance though because there are no direct treatments for elevated levels. However, many doctors feel that fibrinogen activity measurements give them additional information that may lead them to be more aggressive in treating those risk factors that they can influence (such as cholesterol and HDL).
A fibrinogen antigen test is occasionally ordered as a follow-up test to determine whether decreased fibrinogen activity is due to insufficient fibrinogen or dysfunctional fibrinogen (so-called dysfibrinogenemia).
The Lp (a) test can be used by your doctor to measure the levels of Lp (a) in your bloodstream. Information from this test can be used to determine your risk for developing heart disease. Typically, your doctor will routinely test for total cholesterol levels, LDL, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), and triglycerides. If you have a family history of heart disease, heart attacks, heart problems, or your high cholesterol or LDL levels do not respond to treatment, he or she may perform an Lp (a) test to get more information about your health.
Von Willebrand Antigen
A von Willebrand factor (vWF) antigen test measures the quantity of a protein called von Willebrand factor that helps blood to clot. A clot is a lump of blood that the body produces to prevent excessive bleeding by sealing leaks in blood vessels caused by wounds, cuts, scratches, and other conditions.
The blood's ability to clot is a complex process involving platelets (also called thrombocytes) and proteins called clotting factors. Platelets are oval-shaped cells made in the bone marrow. Most clotting factors are made in the liver. Some, like factor VIII and vWF, which circulate in the body bound to one another, are made in blood vessel walls.
When a blood vessel breaks, platelets are first to the area to help seal the leak and temporarily stop or slow bleeding. But for the clot to become strong and stable, the action of clotting factors is required.
The body's 12 clotting factors are numbered using the Roman numerals I through XII. They work together in a specialized sequence, almost like pieces of a puzzle. When the last piece is in place, the clot develops — but if even one piece is missing or defective, the puzzle can't come together.
Sometimes, though, children are born with an abnormal gene that causes them to produce too little vWF, or a defective version of it. The result is a bleeding disorder known as von Willebrand disease.
Variations of von Willebrand disease range from mild to severe. In most cases, the genetic mutation that causes the disease is hereditary, but it may occur spontaneously as well.