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Dig Liver Dis. 2005 Jun;37(6):446-50. Epub 2005 Mar 16.

Prolonged prothrombin time, Factor VII and activated FVII levels in chronic liver disease are partly dependent on Factor VII gene polymorphisms.

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Hematology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.



Prothrombin time is a benchmark for functional assessment in cirrhosis and Factor VII levels (FVII), crucial in determining the prothrombin time, are genetically determined.


We have evaluated the prothrombin time, a number of haemostatic variables synthesised by the liver (FII, FV, FVII and activated FVII, AT and fibrinogen) and two polymorphisms of the FVII gene (5'F7 and 353R/Q) in: (a) patients with liver cirrhosis (n=118), (b) patients with chronic hepatitis (n=102) and (c) controls (n=100).


By one-way analyses of variance, the prothrombin time and the mean levels of the FII, FV, FVIIc, FVIIa, and AT were statistically different between cirrhotics, chronic hepatitis patients and controls. The allele frequency of the FVII polymorphisms did not differ between the three groups. Those rare patients (4.6%) who were homozygous for the type 2 alleles had markedly reduced FVIIc and FVIIa levels. The analysis carried out taking into account Child class versus FVII genotype showed that the mean FVIIc levels were comparable for different genotypes within each Child's class, with the exception of the patients homozygous for the type 1 allele.


Our findings help to explain the not infrequent finding of a severely prolonged prothrombin time in patients who are otherwise in a good functional class.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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