If your fibrinogen concentration is elevated due to pregnancy or to an acute inflammatory process, it will likely return to normal by itself once the underlying condition has resolved. If it is due to an acquired condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, there may be very little you can do to affect the level. If your health care provider has told you that elevated fibrinogen levels are increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease, you can make lifestyle changes that will affect other cardiac risk factors, such as reducing your cholesterol and raising your HDL. There is also some evidence that diets rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (fish oils) may help reduce fibrinogen levels.
2. What is the difference between tests for fibrinogen, d-dimer, and fibrin degradation products (FDP)?
Fibrinogen activity testing evaluates the conversion of fibrinogen into fibrin; fibrinogen antigen testing measures the amount of soluble Factor I (dissolved in the blood) before it has been turned into insoluble fibrin and been crosslinked into a fibrin net. D-dimer and FDP testing both help evaluate the status of the fibrinolytic system, the body's ability to break blood clots apart when they are no longer needed so that they can be removed. FDP is a measurement of all of the fragments of the dissolving clot, while D-dimer is a more specific measurement for one of the crosslinked, break-down fragments.
3. Can I have decreased or abnormal fibrinogen and not know it?
Yes. Many people have relatively normal clotting even when fibrinogen concentrations and/or activity are low. Your condition may not be identified unless you bleed longer than expected after a surgical procedure or trauma or have coagulation-related testing performed for another reason, such as part of a pre-surgical screen.
This article was last reviewed on April 10, 2014. | This article was last modified on April 10, 2014.
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