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South Med J. 2001 Oct;94(10):1013-20.

Hypercoagulability: clinical assessment and treatment.

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Department of Education and Research, Baptist Regional Cancer Institute, Baptist Medical Center, Jacksonville, Fla 32207, USA.


This review emphasizes pathophysiology, clinical features, assessment, and therapy for hypercoagulability. Risk factors that further increase clotting include obesity, recent surgery, pregnancy, and cancer. Clinical examples of coagulation abnormalities may occur from single or multiple abnormalities and include both inherited and acquired defects. Laboratory testing undertaken at the time of acute thrombosis is often inaccurate or difficult to interpret. Individuals are best tested when they are not taking anticoagulants. Treatment of patients with either inherited or acquired abnormalities usually requires heparin compounds followed by warfarin, but the length of therapy has not yet been settled. Asymptomatic individuals with underlying hypercoagulability may not require treatment except in clot-promoting situations such as trauma, pregnancy, recent surgery, or use of venous access devices. The detection of one abnormality may no longer suffice because multiple defects can be found frequently. In patients with clotting and underlying risk factors, such as malignancy, pregnancy, estrogens, or surgery, an assessment for hypercoagulability should be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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