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Differences Between INR and APTT


Needles and injections probably scare the hell out of you. But what can you do? In most laboratory tests and examinations, sharp needles are always involved to have your blood extracted and tested. Even if you are scared by its pointed tip, and even if you are hurt by its penetration, you must face your fears since it is necessary. Examples of blood tests are the INR and APTT. “INR” stands for “International Normalized Ratio” while “APTT” stands for “Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time.” Both blood tests are used to examine the coagulation of your blood.

“INR” is popularly known as “PT” or “Prothrombin Time.” This blood test is ordered by the doctor to have a better view on diagnosing the unexplained bleeding of a patient. The INR test helps in the evaluation of the coagulation cascade’s extrinsic and common pathways. It also serves as a screening test for people who will undergo surgical procedures to ensure normal clotting ability. The surgical procedure might be temporarily held if the result indicates a low INR. An INR test is ordered by a doctor to monitor the effects of the anticoagulant Warfarin or Coumadin for a patient who is taking the drug. An INR test ensures whether Coumadin is producing its desired effect on the patient. Coumadin deals with the coagulation cascade, and it also aids in inhibiting blood clot formation. It is usually prescribed for people with atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. Coumadin helps dissolve the unnecessary blood clots that might block the veins and arteries. An INR test may also be ordered when a patient shows signs and symptoms of unusual bleeding even if he does not take any anticoagulant drugs. A doctor may order an INR test if the patient has nosebleeds, heavy menstrual periods, bleeding gums, bruises, and the presence of blood in the stool. If the result shows a prolonged INR, it means that clot formation is taking too long. Those people with liver diseases and vitamin K deficiencies often have a prolonged INR.

“APTT” is otherwise known as “PTT” or “Partial Thromboplastin Time.” When an INR test is ordered, an APTT is also ordered by the doctor to be done. An APTT test is done to help determine the unexplained bleeding of a patient. It is also done to detect thromboembolisms and liver disease. If a person has recurrent miscarriages and thrombotic episodes, an APTT test is performed to evaluate for anticardiolipin antibodies or lupus anticoagulant. In certain conditions, like when a patient is under heparin therapy injection, an APTT test is often ordered to monitor the degree of anticoagulation. An APTT test is also ordered when a person is undergoing a surgical procedure. It is a part of the pre-surgical checklist. If the person has a history of frequent bleeding, there might be a clotting disorder. Several conditions affect the results of your APTT test. A prolonged APTT result may be due to an inherited factor like the von Willebrand factor and Hemophilia A or B. An acquired factor can include vitamin K deficiencies.

INR and APTT are both important tests for determining your blood coagulation. They serve as precautionary measures whether an anticoagulant drug is effective on you or not. They are also important in pre-surgical checklists since, after the operation, a normal blood clotting is needed for your wound to eventually close up and stop bleeding.


  1. “INR” stands for “International Normalized Ratio” while “APTT” stands for “Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time.”

  2. “INR” is popularly known as “PT” or “Prothrombin Time” while “APTT” is otherwise known as “PTT” or “Partial Thromboplastin Time.”

  3. Both tests determine the normal action of your blood coagulation or clotting time.

  4. Both tests are used to find out whether a particular anticoagulant drug is doing its job.

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