Genetic DVT Factors
Kush Desai, MD
Blood clots in the deep veins of the leg, known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), develop because of immobility (including long distance travel, recent hospitalization or surgery, cancer, or pregnancy). Genetics can also play a role in the development of DVT. Generally, these genetic disorders are rare, but should be evaluated if a cause for the DVT is not clearly known, or if it happens again. The two most commonly seen genetic causes are Factor V Leiden and prothrombin gene mutation.
Factor V Leiden is a mutation in one of the clotting factors in blood. This can cause blood to form abnormal blood clots, often in veins. Not all people diagnosed with Factor V Leiden will experience a blood clot, but it does increase the overall risk of developing one.
Prothrombin gene mutation is when there is an overabundance of a blood clotting protein; like Factor V Leiden, it increases the risk of developing blood clots.
Antithrombin III, Protein C and Protein S deficiencies are less common and found in only about 1% of the population. When these naturally occurring anticoagulant or blood clotting proteins are lacking there is an increased risk for blood clots.
Most people diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder will likely only need treatment if a deep vein thrombosis develops. If a patient is diagnosed with a clotting disorder, his or her family members should consider getting tested.
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