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Blood. 1999 Mar 1;93(5):1595-9.

Prospective evaluation of the thrombotic risk in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia carrying the MTHFR TT 677 genotype, the prothrombin G20210A variant, and further prothrombotic risk factors.

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  • 1Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology and Institute of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine/Institute of Atherosclerosis Research, University Hospitals Bonn, Frankfurt, Halle, Hanover, and Münster, Germany.


The reported incidence of thromboembolism in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with L-asparaginase, vincristine, and prednisone varies from 2.4% to 11.5%. The present study was designed to prospectively evaluate the role of the TT677 methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genotype, the prothrombin G20210A mutation, the factor V G1691A mutation, deficiencies of protein C, protein S, antithrombin, and increased lipoprotein (a) concentrations in leukemic children treated according to the ALL-Berlin-Frankfurt-Muenster (BFM) 90/95 study protocols with respect to the onset of vascular events. Three hundred and one consecutive leukemic children were enrolled in this study. Fifty-five of these 301 subjects investigated had one established single prothrombotic risk factor: 20 children showed the TT677 MTHFR genotype; 5 showed the heterozygous prothrombin G20210A variant; 11 were carriers of the factor V G1691A mutation (heterozygous, n = 10; homozygous, n = 1); 4 showed familial protein C, 4 protein S, and 2 antithrombin type I deficiency; 9 patients were suffering from familially increased lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] concentrations (>30 mg/dL). In addition, combined prothrombotic defects were found in a further 10 patients: the FV mutation was combined with the prothrombin G20210A variant (n = 1), increased Lp(a) (n = 3), protein C deficiency (n = 1), and homozygosity for the C677T MTHFR gene mutation (n = 1). Lp(a) was combined with protein C deficiency (n = 2) and the MTHFR TT 677 genotype (n = 2). Two hundred eighty-nine of the 301 patients were available for thrombosis-free survival analysis. In 32 (11%) of these 289 patients venous thromboembolism occurred. The overall thrombosis-free survival in patients with at least one prothrombotic defect was significantly reduced compared with patients without a prothrombotic defect within the hemostatic system (P <.0001). In addition, a clear-cut positive correlation (P <.0001) was found between thrombosis and the use of central lines. However, because the prothrombotic defects diagnosed in the total childhood population studied were all found within the prevalences reported for healthy Caucasian individuals, the interaction between prothrombotic risk factors, ALL treatment, and further environmental factors is likely to cause thrombotic manifestations.

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