Chronic venous abnormalities in symptomatic and asymptomatic protein C deficiency
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BACKGROUND: Thrombophilia is a frequent medical condition associated with symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Unlike other clinical risk factors associated with DVT, such as surgery, thrombophilia has not been demonstrated to be associated with asymptomatic venous thrombotic events. Our aim was to search for asymptomatic sequelae of DVT in a protein C (PC)-deficient family. METHODS: We studied 228 individuals from a large kindred with PC deficiency and performed a systematic ultrasound examination. RESULTS: Among the 203 patients without a known history of venous thrombosis we found seven patients with abnormalities indicative of prior asymptomatic thrombosis: six (7.4%) in the PC-deficient group (n = 81) and only one (0.8%) in the non-deficient group (n = 122). The relative risk for these sequelae associated with PC deficiency was 9.0 (95% CI: 1.1-73.7). CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that chronic venous abnormalities are frequently present and that thrombotic events in asymptomatic individuals with familial PC deficiency may be underestimated.
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