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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Factor V Leiden thrombophilia


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • APC resistance, Leiden type
  • Hereditary resistance to activated protein C
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How might factor V Leiden be treated?

The management of individuals with factor V Leiden depends on the clinical circumstances. People with factor V Leiden who have had a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) are usually treated with blood thinners, or anticoagulants. Anticoagulants such as heparin and warfarin are given for varying amounts of time depending on the person's situation. It is not usually recommended that people with factor V Leiden be treated lifelong with anticoagulants if they have had only one DVT or PE, unless there are additional risk factors present. Having had a DVT or PE in the past increases a person's risk for developing another one in the future, but having factor V Leiden does not seem to add to the risk of having a second clot. In general, individuals who have factor V Leiden but have never had a blood clot are not routinely be treated with an anticoagulant. Rather, these individuals are counseled about reducing or eliminating other factors that may add to one's risk of developing a clot in the future. In addition, these individuals may require temporary treatment with an anticoagulant during periods of particularly high risk, such as major surgery.[1]

Factor V Leiden increases the risk of developing a DVT during pregnancy by about seven-fold. Women with factor V Leiden who are planning pregnancy should discuss this with their obstetrician and/or hematologist. Most women with factor V Leiden have normal pregnancies and only require close follow-up during pregnancy. For those with a history of DVT or PE, treatment with an anticoagulant during a subsequent pregnancy can prevent recurrent problems. [1]

Last updated: 4/20/2011

  1. Learning About Factor V Leiden Thrombophilia. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). December 2010; Accessed 3/18/2011.

Management Guidelines

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