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Am J Hematol. 2010 Jun;85(6):440-2. doi: 10.1002/ajh.21679.

Laboratory tests for protein C deficiency.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, 02114, USA.


Hereditary protein C deficiency is a hypercoagulable state associated with an increased risk for venous thrombosis. The recommended initial test for protein C is an activity (functional) assay, which may be clotting time based or chromogenic. The advantages and disadvantages of the various testing options are presented. The causes of acquired protein C deficiency are much more common than hereditary deficiency. Therefore, this article describes the appropriate steps to take when protein C activity is low, to confirm or exclude a hereditary deficiency. The causes of falsely normal results are also described, including lupus anticoagulants and direct thrombin inhibitors.

2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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