Fibrinogen is a type of blood plasma that is responsible for the coagulation of blood. It is an extremely essential component of blood. Fibrinogen interacts with thrombin to create fibrin which is essential in clotting blood. Excessive levels of fibrin will cause blood clots to form all over the body. This condition is known as thrombosis. Thrombosis can be particularly dangerous if a clot is allowed to pass into vital organs where it might result in the malfunctioning of those organs. In severe cases, blood clots can cause heart attacks by clogging the vital arteries of the heart. A low amount of fibrinogen is responsible for excessive bleeding. When a wound occurs, blood begins to flow out of it. Under normal circumstances, this blood begins to coagulate and form a scab over the wound. When the fibrin, responsible for coagulation, is deficient, the wound may bleed excessively. This condition is known as hemorrhaging and may result in extensive blood loss, organ failure and even death. When clotting takes place, the enzyme thrombin interacts with fibrinogen to produce fibrin which will then from into bunches of fibrin cells that catch the blood. This then forms into a clot. Fibrinogen originates in the liver.
Fibrinogen testing is done to diagnose clotting and bleeding disorders. It can also be conducted as part of a normal liver test. Fibrinogen blood test may be conducted prior to surgery as a precautionary test to make sure that the person is capable of healing from any surgical wounds and will not hemorrhage or bleed out.
Fibrinogen tests are ordered to explain excessive bleeding episodes. This is a situation where fibrinogen is deficient. Deficiency may also exist immediately after a blood transfusion.
Elevated levels of fibrinogen are associated with many conditions. Acute infections that are prolonged can cause high levels of fibrinogen. Cancer and heart disease are also linked to high levels of fibrinogen. Strokes can be a result of blood clotting and are often linked to high levels of fibrinogen. Fibrinogen levels are particularly high in trauma patients in the emergency room. Often there is a problem in treating such patients as the high level of fibrinogen can cause clotting while administering blood thinners (to prevent clotting) can cause excessive bleeding from wounds that have occurred as a result of the trauma. If you have consumed any drugs in the recent past or have donated blood, your fibrinogen levels may be abnormally low.