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Euglobulin Lysis Time Blood Test

Last updated Jan. 31, 2016


What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • ELT Blood Test

What is the Euglobulin Lysis Time Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Euglobulin is a type of globulin that is insoluble in water and acid (but dissolves in water that contains salts). Euglobulin is important in diagnosing problems with the blood clotting process
  • Euglobulin is obtained by adding acid to a sample of blood plasma. Plasma is the liquid left behind after a blood sample has been stripped of cells through centrifugation
  • In contrast, serum is the liquid left behind after blood has clotted and been centrifuged. Clotting removes fibrin, fibrinogen, and other components associated with blood clot formation. This is the difference in composition between serum and plasma; plasma has not been made to clot and still contains clotting components
  • Acidification of plasma causes the clotting factors it contains to clump together and precipitate. This clump is called euglobulin. It contains components needed both to create a clot and to dismantle (lyse) it
  • The euglobulin clump is gathered and put into another solution. It is then made to produce a blood clot by adding calcium. After a clot has been made, the time it takes for the factors to lyse it is recorded. This is the euglobulin lysis time (ELT)
  • The Euglobulin Lysis Time Blood Test helps determine the time it takes for factors within a blood sample to lyse a blood clot. It is used to diagnose clotting disorders characterized by excessive blood clot lysis

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Euglobulin Lysis Time Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing the Euglobulin Lysis Time Blood Test:

  • Following up to laboratory tests investigating clotting disorders
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Easy bruising
  • Fever
  • Low blood pressure

How is the Specimen Collected for the Euglobulin Lysis Time Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Euglobulin Lysis Time Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Euglobulin Lysis Time Blood Test Result?

A low value (less than 1 hour) for the Euglobulin Lysis Time Blood Test may indicate: 

  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
  • Cirrhosis
  • Incompatible blood transfusion
  • Pathologic fibrinolysis
  • Hemorrhage

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • The Euglobulin Blood Test was historically interpreted by visually observing how long it took for a blood clot to lyse. Modern methods involve the use of optical instruments that measure blood clot lysis more accurately and consistently.

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

The following DoveMed website links are useful resources for additional information:

http://www.dovemed.com/thrombin-time-blood-test/

http://www.dovemed.com/common-procedures/procedures-laboratory/coagulation-factors-blood-test/

Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:

http://www.dovemed.com/common-procedures/procedures-laboratory/

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Kee, J. L. (2010). Laboratory and diagnostic tests with nursing implications (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Martini, F., Nath, J. L., & Bartholomew, E. F. (2012). Fundamentals of anatomy & physiology (9th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.

Williamson, M. A., Snyder, L. M., & Wallach, J. B. (2011). Wallach's interpretation of diagnostic tests (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Jan. 31, 2016
Last updated: Jan. 31, 2016