Author(s): Broekmans AW, Veltkamp JJ, Bertina RM
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Abstract Protein C is the zymogen of a vitamin K-dependent serine protease involved in blood coagulation. In the absence of protein C the inactivation of activated factors V and VIIIC is impaired, and the fibrinolytic capacity of the circulating blood is reduced. These conditions promote excessive fibrin formation and thus constitute a risk factor for thrombosis. Using an immunologic assay for protein C, we identified 18 patients (11 male and 7 female) in three unrelated Dutch families as fulfilling the criteria for an isolated protein C deficiency. In 12 patients who were not receiving oral anticoagulant treatment the mean protein C antigen concentration was 0.48 +/- 0.09 U per milliliter (+/- S.D.), and in 6 patients who were receiving adjusted doses of oral anticoagulants and had stable anticoagulation, the mean value was 0.17 +/- 0.05 U per milliliter. (The value in healthy subjects is 0.98 +/- 0.19 U per milliliter.) Fourteen of the 18 patients had a history of venous thromboembolism, with superficial thrombophlebitis as the hallmark of this condition (in 13 patients). These data are consistent with an autosomal dominant trait with variable expressivity.
This article was published in N Engl J Med
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion