Diagnosis of Blood Clots

Imaging studies and blood tests help in the diagnosis of blood clots.

After obtaining a complete patient history and examining the patient, some tests may be used to diagnose the presence of a blood clot, and to find out its cause and detect associated complications.

Tests used in the diagnosis of blood clot are:

  • Blood tests: These include:
    • Measurement of lipid levels in the blood like total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides.
    • Other tests like lipoprotein (a) and fasting homocysteine levels, which show if a person is prone to plaque formation in the arteries, and HbA1c levels, which indicates diabetes control.
    • Tests that could diagnose increased clotting of blood like prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). Additional tests may include anticardiolipin antibody (ACA) or beta-2 glycoprotein, lupus anticoagulants (LA) and heparin antibodies.
    • Tests to identify genetic defects like factor V-Leiden and factor II (prothrombin) G-20210A.
  • Imaging studies: Imaging studies that help to locate the clot are:
    • Ultrasonography
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging studies (MRI)
    • Echocardiogram and electrocardiogram (ECG) to detect a clot in the heart
    • Angiograms and Venograms
    • Chest XRay


  1. Treatment of Blood Clots - (http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/20/e138.full)
  2. Blood Clots and Strokes: A Guide for Parents and Little Folks - By Maureen Andrew, Maureen Andrew, MD.
  3. Blood Clotting Disorders (Hypercoagulable States) - (http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/disorders/vascular/hypercoagstate.aspx)

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