The main difference between fibrinogen and platelets is that fibrinogen is a soluble protein that gets converted into an insoluble protein when a wound heals, whereas platelets are fragments of cells that help the body to stop clotting and form blood clots.
Blood clotting is an important biological process that occurrs in the body in certain situations. This process prevents excessive bleeding when blood vessels are injured. This is by forming a clot over the injured place. In fact, these clots can occur in the arteries or veins. Moreover, the components of blood that help in this process are mainly platelets and proteins present in the plasma.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Fibrinogen
– Definition, Features, Importance
2. What are Platelets
– Definition, Features, Importance
3. Similarities Between Fibrinogen and Platelets
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Fibrinogen and Platelets
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Fibrinogen
Fibrinogen is a soluble protein present in blood plasma. It involves in blood clotting during the healing of the wound. It is a protein produced in the liver. When a wound heals, it converts into fibrin with the help of the enzyme thrombin, which catalyzes this reaction. Fibrin is the predominant protein involved in stopping the bleeding and healing of a wound.
Fibrinogen also has other functions, such as inflammation and blood vessel growth, apart from the healing of wounds and blood clot formation. Fibrinogen also binds to several plasma proteins. Hence, fibrin and fibrinogen are multifunctional proteins.
Fibrinogen concentration in the circulating blood is about 2 g/L to 4 g/L. After about 6 days, one could observe the breakdown of fibrinogen in the bloodstream. Production of fibrinogen increases during infection, inflammation, and injury. Hence, fibrinogen is considered a positive acute-phase protein.
There are different tests to measure the time blood takes to form clots. In fact, a longer time to clot indicates problems in clot formation, including low levels of functional fibrinogen.
What are Platelets
Platelets are fragments of cells that are small and have a disc shape. They are found circulating in the blood and the spleen. They are the cell fragments of very large cells, megakaryocytes. In fact, platelets are microscopic. Moreover, the normal platelet count is from 150000 to 450000 per microliter of blood.
Thrombocytosis is a condition that occurs when the platelet count is more than 450000, while thrombocytopenia is a condition that occurs when the platelet count is less than 150,000. The symptoms of thrombocytopenia include frequent bleeding from the GI tract, nose, and gums and easy bruising. Furthermore, there are many reasons for the platelet count to drop to lower levels. Some reasons for such low levels of platelets are chemotherapy treatment for cancer, inherited conditions, excessive consumption of alcohol, medications, certain cancer types, kidney dysfunction, and infections. Generally, by performing a routine blood test (complete blood count), one can obtain his/her platelet count.
In their inactive form, platelets have a shape like small plates. When a blood vessel undergoes damage, it sends out a signal that the platelets receive. The platelets respond by moving to the damaged area and transforming into their active formation. Then, they grow long tentacle-like structures outward to contact the broken blood vessels. The platelets recognize the damaged blood vessels and bind together. This finally causes the formation of a blood clot to stop the bleeding.
Similarities Between Fibrinogen and Platelets
- Fibrinogen and platelets are essential for the clotting of blood.
- Both these two factors are helpful as diagnostic markers to identify bleeding disorders.
Difference Between Fibrinogen and Platelets
Fibrinogen is a soluble protein that gets converted into an insoluble protein when a wound heals, whereas platelets are fragments of cells that help the body to stop clotting and form blood clots.
Location of Origin
Fibrinogens are proteins that are produced in the liver, while platelets are produced within the bone marrow.
Fibrinogens are present in the blood plasma, which is the liquid component of the blood, while platelets are present in the blood itself as cell fragments.
While fibrinogens help to transport the platelets to the wounded area, platelets help in the clotting of the wounded area to prevent the flow of blood.
Blood clotting is an important biological process in the human body. When there is damage to blood vessels, blood clots form to prevent further loss of blood from the site of injury. Many factors and substances participate in the process of blood clotting. Two such substances are fibrinogen and platelets. The main difference between fibrinogen and platelets is that fibrinogen is a soluble protein that converts into an insoluble protein when a wound heals, whereas platelets are fragments of cells that help the body to stop clotting and from blood clots.
1. “Blood Clots.” Hematology.org
2. “What Are Platelets?” Healthy Encyclopedia. The University of Rochester.
1. “Human fibrinogen 3GHG D domain” By 5-HT2AR – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Platelets2” By Graham Beards assumed – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims). (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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