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Arch Intern Med. 2000 Feb 14;160(3):382-6.

Hypercoagulable states in primary upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis.

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Service de Médecine Vasculaire and Centre Claude Bernard de Recherche sur les Maladies Vasculaires Périphériques, Paris, France.



There are very few data on the prevalence of coagulation abnormalities in primary deep vein thrombosis of the upper limbs.


To determine if coagulation abnormalities play a role in effort-related and/or idiopathic (non-effort-related) upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis (UEDVT).


Fifty-one consecutive patients (21 men and 30 women) who had effort-related (n = 20) or idiopathic (n = 31) UEDVT over an 18-year period (median age at diagnosis, 32 years; age range, 15-86 years) were routinely reexamined. Plasma was screened for antithrombin, protein C, and protein S deficiencies and for antiphospholipid antibodies (lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibodies). The DNA was screened for factor V Leiden and for prothrombin gene G20210A mutations.


The median age (35 vs. 28 years), the proportion of women (81% [25/31] vs. 25% [5/201), the proportion of patients with a personal and/or family history of thromboembolism (42% [13/31] vs. 15% [3/20]), and the proportion of patients with at least 1 coagulation abnormality (42% [13/31] vs. 15% [3/20]) were higher in the idiopathic UEDVT group than in the effort-related UEDVT group. The odds ratio of having a coagulation abnormality was 4.09 (95% confidence interval, 0.99-16.78; P = .06) in the idiopathic UEDVT group compared with the effort-related UEDVT group.


Hypercoagulable states appear to play a significant role in idiopathic but not in effort-related UEDVT.

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