Familial thrombophilia and the prothrombin 20210A mutation
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The 20210A prothrombin mutation has recently been associated with an increased risk of venous thrombosis, but the mechanism of the increased thrombotic risk in affected persons has not been elucidated. We report on a thrombophilic family in which the proband presented with cerebral vein thrombosis and homozygosity for the 20210A prothrombin mutation as her only identifiable risk factor for venous thrombosis. Extended genotyping of family members revealed seven other affected, but asymptomatic, first-degree relatives (one A/A homozygote and six G/A heterozygotes). Plasma levels of prothrombin, prothrombin fragments 1 + 2 and thrombin-antithrombin complexes were highest in A/A homozygotes, intermediate in G/A heterozygotes and lowest in those with the G/G homozygous normal genotype, while D-dimer levels were elevated only in A/A homozygotes. Our results suggest that the 20210A prothrombin mutation is associated with activation of coagulation and increased thrombin generation, not only in patients with a past history of thrombosis but also in otherwise healthy asymptomatic persons. In a similar fashion to the homozygous factor V Leiden mutation, patients with the homozygous 20210A prothrombin mutation could be at highest risk of thrombosis, as suggested by our patient who presented with unusual thrombosis.
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