If your doctor thinks that you have excessive blood clotting based on your signs and symptoms, he or she will look for the cause of the condition.
Your doctor will ask about your medical and family histories and review the results from a physical exam and tests.
Your primary care doctor may refer you to a hematologist. This is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating blood diseases and disorders.
Medical and Family Histories
Your doctor may ask you detailed questions about your medical history and your family's medical history. He or she may ask whether you or a blood relative:
Your doctor will do a physical exam to see how severe your blood clotting problem is and to look for its possible causes.
Diagnostic Tests and Procedures
Your doctor may recommend blood tests to look at your blood cells and the clotting process. If he or she thinks you may have a genetic condition, you may need more blood tests.
Tests to find the cause of excessive blood clotting may be delayed for weeks or even months while you receive treatment for a problem blood clot.
Complete Blood Count and Platelet Count
An initial blood test will include a complete blood count and a platelet count. These tests measure the number of red and white blood cells and platelets in your blood.
In this situation, your doctor will want to know the number of platelets in your blood. Platelets are blood cell fragments that stick together to form clots.
Tests for Clotting Factors and Clotting Time
You also may need blood tests that look at the proteins active in the blood clotting process and how long it takes them to form a blood clot.
Clotting proteins or factors react with each other along two pathways called the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. (A pathway is a string of chemical reactions that always occur in a certain order.) The two pathways join in a common pathway to make a fibrin network that holds blood clots together.
PT test. This test looks at the extrinsic and common pathways to measure how long it takes blood clots to form. People who have excessive blood clotting may take the medicine warfarin to prolong their clotting times.
A PTT test. This test looks at the intrinsic and common pathways to measure how long it takes blood clots to form. People also may take blood thinners, like heparin, to slow their clotting times.
If your doctor thinks your blood clotting condition is genetic, you may need other blood tests. These may include tests that check:
Excessive blood clotting has many causes. Problems with the blood, blood vessel defects, or other factors can cause the condition.read more
When blood clotting takes place easily or the clots do not dissolve properly, such condition is known as excessive blood clotting.read more