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Fibrin degradation products


Fibrin degradation products (FDPs) are the substances left behind when clots dissolve in the blood. Blood tests can be done to measure these products.

Alternative Names:

FDPs; FSPs; Fibrin split products; Fibrin breakdown products

How the Test is Performed:

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test:

Certain medicines can change blood test results.

  • Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take.
  • Your provider will tell you if you need to temporarily stop taking any medicines before you have this test. This includes blood thinners such as aspirin, heparin, streptokinase, and urokinase, which make it hard for the blood to clot.
  • Do not stop or change your medicines without talking to your doctor first.

How the Test will Feel:

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or slight bruising. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed:

This test is done to see if your clot-dissolving (fibrinolytic) system is working properly. Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) or another clot-dissolving disorder.

Normal Results:

The result is normally less than 10 mcg/mL.

Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or may test different specimens. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean:

Increased FDPs may be a sign of primary or secondary fibrinolysis (clot-dissolving activity) due to a variety of causes, including:

  • Blood clotting problems
  • Burns
  • Problem with the heart's structure and function that is present at birth (congenital heart disease )
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
  • Low level of oxygen in the blood
  • Infections
  • Leukemia
  • Liver disease
  • Problem during pregnancy such as preeclampsia, placenta abruptio , miscarriage
  • Recent blood transfusion
  • Recent surgery that involved a heart and lung bypass pump, or surgery to lower high blood pressure in the liver
  • Kidney disease
  • Transplant rejection
  • Transfusion reaction


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

Other slight risks from having blood drawn may include:

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


Brummel-Ziedins K. Mann KG. Molecular basis of blood coagulation. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, Anastasi J, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 128.

Levi M. Disseminated intravascular coagulation. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, Anastasi J, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 128.

Schafer AI. Hemorrhagic disorders: Disseminated intravascular coagulation, liver failure, and vitamin K deficiency. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 178.

Review Date: 1/27/2015
Reviewed By: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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