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Coagulation laboratory tests

Plasminogen assay

Reviewer: Jeremy Parsons, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 10 February 2013, last major update November 2012
Copyright: (c) 2002-2013, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


Indications: patients with familial venous thrombosis but no evidence of other hypercoagulable states, occasionally used to monitor thrombolytic therapy or for patients with ligneous conjunctivitis
● Either functional (based on plasmin activity, Haemostasis 1988;18 Suppl 1:47) or immunologic (based on concentration of plasminogen antigen)

Functional assays:
● Determine plasmin enzyme activity with plasmin-specific chromogenic substrate
● Add streptokinase to patient plasma, complex cleaves a chromogen releasing a colored compound
● Color is measured spectrophotometrically and is proportional to plasminogen in sample
● Expressed as percentage of normal plasma (reference range 75-130%)

Immunologic assays:
● Radial immunodiffusion methods
● Used if dysplasminogenemia is being evaluated
● Ratio of functional activity to antigen is significantly decreased compared to controls


● Plasminogen levels are increased by oral contraceptives (which increase cholesterol levels), pregnancy and acute phase reactants
● Plasminogen levels are decreased by liver disease, thrombolytic therapy and DIC; newborns have levels that are 60% of adults, increase to adult values by age 6 months

End of Coagulation > Coagulation laboratory tests > Plasminogen assay

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