Activated clotting time
The ACT test can be used to monitor anticoagulation effects, such as high-dose heparin before, during, and shortly after procedures that require intense anticoagulant administration, such as cardiac bypass, cardiac angioplasty, thrombolysis, extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and continuous dialysis. It measures the seconds needed for whole blood to clot upon exposure to an activator of an intrinsic pathway by the addition of factor XII activators. The clotting time is based on a relative scale and requires a baseline value for a point of comparison due to inconsistencies between the source and formulation of the activator being used. It is usually ordered in situations where the partial thromboplastin time (PTT) test may take an excessive amount of time to process or is not clinically useful. Prolongation of the ACT may indicate a deficiency in coagulation factors, thrombocytopenia or platelet dysfunction. Clotting time measurements can be affected by other drugs that such as Warfarin, aprotinin and GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors and may also be affected by physical perturbations to the body such as hypothermia, hypervolemia or hypovolemia.
- labtestsonline.org > ACT This article was last reviewed on March 20, 2008. This page was last modified on March 30, 2010
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