The Activated Protein C-Resistance test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Brief Description: The Activated Protein C-Resistance (APC-R) test is a laboratory assay primarily used to assess the risk of venous thrombosis. It determines how well the anticoagulant pathway of the blood, involving protein C, is working. A malfunction in this pathway can lead to an increased risk of blood clot formation.
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When and Why an Activated Protein C-Resistance Test May Be Ordered
This test is typically ordered when a person has experienced an unexplained venous thromboembolism, especially at a young age, or when there's a family history of recurrent clotting events. It can also be useful in the following scenarios:
- To determine the cause of recurrent miscarriages.
- When a woman experiences a clotting event during pregnancy or while taking oral contraceptives.
- For patients with a personal or family history of venous thrombosis without apparent risk factors.
What an Activated Protein C-Resistance Test Checks For
The APC-R test essentially measures the ability of activated protein C to inhibit blood clotting. When protein C is activated in the body, it should prolong the clotting time. If the clotting time doesn't extend as expected in the presence of activated protein C, resistance to APC is suggested.
A common genetic mutation associated with APC resistance is the Factor V Leiden mutation. However, the APC-R test does not directly test for this mutation but indicates its possible presence.
Other Lab Tests Ordered Alongside an Activated Protein C-Resistance Test
If APC resistance is detected or suspected, further tests may be ordered to confirm the cause and assess the risk of thrombosis. These might include:
- Factor V Leiden Mutation Test: This directly tests for the common genetic mutation associated with APC resistance.
- Prothrombin G20210A Mutation Test: It's another genetic test linked to thrombosis risk.
- Protein C and Protein S Tests: These measure the quantity and function of these proteins, which are essential for blood clot prevention.
Conditions or Diseases Requiring an Activated Protein C-Resistance Test
The primary conditions associated with APC resistance include:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): A clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs.
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE): A clot that travels to the lungs, which can be life-threatening.
- Recurrent Miscarriage: Especially when no other causes can be identified.
- Unexplained Thrombosis: Clotting events without typical risk factors such as surgery, trauma, or extended immobilization.
How Health Care Providers Use the Results of an Activated Protein C-Resistance Test
The results of the APC-R test help healthcare providers identify individuals at an increased risk of clotting events. If resistance is detected, it's crucial to determine its cause, especially if it's genetic. This information can influence treatment decisions and preventive measures.
Patients found to have APC resistance may be counseled about the risks and benefits of anticoagulant therapy, especially in situations where clotting risk is elevated, like surgery or pregnancy. Furthermore, knowing about APC resistance can influence decisions about medications, such as hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives, which can increase clotting risk.
Most Common Questions About the Activated Protein C-Resistance test:
Purpose and Clinical Indications
Why is the Activated Protein C-Resistance test performed?
The Activated Protein C-Resistance test is primarily conducted to determine the risk of inappropriate blood clot formation. This test is often used to detect Factor V Leiden mutation, a common inherited genetic disorder that can cause abnormal clotting of the blood, increasing the risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.
What differentiates the Activated Protein C-Resistance test from other coagulation tests?
The Activated Protein C-Resistance test specifically evaluates how plasma (a component of blood) responds to activated protein C, an anticoagulant. If plasma is resistant to the anticoagulant effects of activated protein C, it suggests the presence of Factor V Leiden mutation. Other coagulation tests may focus on different clotting factors or pathways in the coagulation cascade.
Interpretation of Results
What does a positive Activated Protein C-Resistance test indicate?
A positive Activated Protein C-Resistance test means that an individual's plasma shows resistance to the anticoagulant effects of activated protein C. This is often indicative of the presence of the Factor V Leiden mutation. However, further genetic testing would be needed to confirm this mutation.
How does the result of the Activated Protein C-Resistance test influence treatment decisions?
If the Activated Protein C-Resistance test is positive, it suggests an increased risk of abnormal blood clotting. Physicians might consider recommending prophylactic anticoagulation therapy, especially during high-risk situations like surgery or prolonged immobility. Additionally, lifestyle modifications, regular monitoring, and genetic counseling may be suggested, especially if the patient has a family history of clotting disorders.
Is the Activated Protein C-Resistance test recommended for individuals with a family history of thrombosis?
Yes, the Activated Protein C-Resistance test is particularly beneficial for those with a family history of thrombosis, especially if a family member has been diagnosed with Factor V Leiden mutation. Identifying individuals who have this mutation can help in managing and potentially preventing thrombotic episodes.
Can the Activated Protein C-Resistance test be used in conjunction with other coagulation tests?
Yes, the Activated Protein C-Resistance test is often performed alongside other coagulation tests to get a comprehensive understanding of an individual's clotting profile. Tests like prothrombin time (PT), partial thromboplastin time (PTT), and specific factor assays can provide additional information about the overall functioning of the clotting system.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.