The quick value is a laboratory value for checking blood coagulation and is also known as the prothrombin time or thromboplastin time (TPZ). Blood clotting is an essential function of the body to stop bleeding and consists of a primary and a secondary part. The primary part of blood clotting causes the formation of a network of blood platelets (thrombocytes).
The secondary part consists of coagulation factors that activate each other in a chain reaction, which, as an end point, cause the conversion of a soluble precursor, fibrinogen, into insoluble fibrin. Fibrin is a protein and can also be compared to an adhesive, which connects the individual components of blood clotting with each other. The human blood clotting chain reaction has two ways of activation.
One is the exogenous pathway, which is caused by endothelial injury (endothelium = the inner lining of the blood vessels) of the blood vessels, and the other is the endogenous pathway, which is mainly caused by activated platelets. The quick-value is used to monitor the extrinsic system and indicates the duration of its activation, in percent (unit %), until the formation of fibrin compounds. The duration of the clotting time is calculated in the quick-value using a standard value as a percentage of the standard. If there is an extended clotting time, a lower Quick value is displayed.
What is the Quick Value used for in medicine?
The quick value is an important diagnostic marker for checking blood coagulation. It is an important component during operations, for example, because if it does not work sufficiently, prolonged bleeding is possible, which can result in blood loss. For this purpose, it may be necessary to stop taking blood-thinning medication before planned operations.
The quick value also serves to detect a lack of vitamin K. This vitamin is important for the function of some coagulation factors, which cannot function without it. On the other hand, this property of the coagulation factors is also a point of attack for drugs that are intended to prolong blood clotting. For this one uses medicines as for example Marcumar®, which is an opponent of the Vitamin K and thus the blood clotting delays.
Prolonged blood clotting can be desired in several scenarios, such as after heart attacks, strokes or after the installation of artificial heart valves to prevent uncontrollable blood clotting. In the case of liver diseases, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver, the production of coagulation factors can be disturbed. By monitoring the quick value, it is then possible to weigh up possible therapy strategies and react to the deficiency.