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Thromb Haemost. 1994 Apr;71(4):416-9.

High incidence of thrombophilia detected in Chinese patients with venous thrombosis.

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Department of Pathology, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong.


Venous thromboembolism is rare in Chinese. To determine the incidence and disease profile of thrombophilia in Chinese patients with thrombosis, 52 unselected Chinese patients with documented venous thrombosis were studied for the presence of thrombophilia. Levels of antithrombin III (AT III), protein C (PC) and protein S (PS) as well as the presence of acquired lupus anticoagulant (LA) and anticardiolipin antibody (ACA) were investigated. Thirty patients were found to be abnormal. These consisted of 5 AT III deficiencies, 9 PC deficiencies, 10 PS deficiencies, 1 combined PC & PS deficiency (all in the heterozygous range), and 5 patients with LA and/or ACA. When the patients with LA and/or ACA are excluded, the incidence of hereditary thrombophilia is 25/47 i.e. 53.2% which is much higher than those reported in studies of Caucasian patients selected under strict criteria. Family studies performed in 16 cases of hereditary thrombophilia revealed involvement in 11 cases (68.7%); a total of 36 heterozygous family members were affected, most of which remain asymptomatic. Although 35 events predisposing to thrombosis (27 pregnancies, 1 oral contraceptive consumption and 7 surgical operations) were identified among these index patients, and the heterozygous family members, thrombosis was observed on only 6 occasions (17.1%). The data suggest that pregnancy and surgery do not carry the same degree of thrombotic risk in Chinese as in the Caucasian population with heterozygous AT III, PC and PS deficiency.

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