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Acta Haematol. 2010;124(4):229-34. doi: 10.1159/000321534. Epub 2010 Nov 20.

Ox brain versus rabbit brain thromboplastin assays are the best tool for a preliminary diagnosis of the Arg304Gln factor VII defect (FVII Padua).

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Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padua Medical School, Italy.


Factor VII (FVII) deficiency, the most frequent defect among the rare bleeding disorders, is commonly divided into type I and type II. In the former, there is a concomitant decrease in FVII activity and antigen. In the latter, there is a clear discrepancy between activity which is low and antigen which is normal or nearly normal. FVII Padua (Arg304Gln) is characterized by different reactivity towards different tissue thromboplastins. FVII levels were assayed by the use of different tissue thromboplastins, namely rabbit brain, human placenta, human recombinant and ox brain thromboplastin, in 6 homozygous patients. Cases reported in the literature were also evaluated. Ox brain thromboplastins yielded normal values, whereas human tissue or recombinant human thromboplastins yielded only slightly higher levels of activity than those obtained with rabbit brain reagents. The ox brain versus rabbit brain ratio was about 22, whereas the ratio for human placenta or human recombinant versus rabbit brain thromboplastin was only about 5. The FVII antigen versus rabbit brain, human tissue and ox brain activity ratios were 24.8, 4.3 and 1.1, respectively. These results indicate that the ox brain versus the rabbit brain thromboplastin ratio supplies a wider difference than the one between human tissue and rabbit brain. The antigen/ox brain activity ratio of 1.1 fully confirms this assertion.

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