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Euglobulin lysis time

Euglobulin lysis time (ELT) is a blood test that looks at how fast clots break down in the blood.

How the Test is Performed

A sample of blood sample will be taken from a vein. The lab will run tests on the blood sample to see how fast blood clots dissolve. The dissolving of blood clots is called fibrinolysis.

How to Prepare for the Test

You do not need to take special any steps before this test.

How the Test will Feel

You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted to draw blood. You may feel some throbbing afterward.

Why the Test is Performed

This is one of the best tests to tell the difference between primary fibrinolysis and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

The test can also be used to monitor patients who are on streptokinase or urokinase therapy for acute MI (heart attack).

Normal Results

A normal value will range from 90 minutes to 6 hours. Euglobulin clot lysis is normally complete within 2 to 4 hours.

Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

A longer-than-normal ELT time may be due to:

A shorter-than-normal ELT time may be due to:

The test may also be done to diagnose or rule out:

Risks

There is very little risk from having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size so it may be harder to take a blood sample in one person than another.

Other slight risks from having blood drawn may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

Considerations

Heavy exercise can cause a shorter-than-normal ELT time.

Longer than normal ELT time may be due to:

  • Increasing age
  • Some medicines, such as corticosteroids, ACTH, streptokinase, and urokinase

Alternative Names

Euglobulin clot lysis; Fibrinolysis/euglobulin lysis; ELT

References

Lijnen HR, Collen D. Molecular and cellular basis of fibrinolysis. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr., Shattil SJ, et al, eds. Hoffman Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008:chap 119.

Schafer A. Hemorrhagic disorders: Disseminated intravascular coagulation, liver failure, and vitamin K deficiency. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 181.

Update Date: 3/3/2013

Updated by: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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