Author(s): Rosendaal FR
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Over the last decade we have witnessed an avalanche of newly identified risk factors for venous thrombosis. This has advanced our knowledge of its etiology, because more determinants have been described and because the underlying concepts have received a new and broader understanding. Venous thrombosis is a common multicausal disease occurring as the result of interacting genetic, environmental and behavioral risk factors. Some of these have been known since medieval times, such as the increased risk of thrombosis during immobilization in pregnancy and after childbirth (although retained milk of the breast-feeding mother was seen as the primary cause for the latter). Pregnancy and puerperium still cause thrombosis, as do exogenous hormones in oral contraceptives and hormonal replacement therapy. Furthermore, the immobilization in the puerperium of the old days translates directly to situations of immobilization in current times, such as prolonged travel in airplanes or excessive electronic gaming. While pedigrees with abundant thrombosis were observed in the early 1900s, the first cause of heritable thrombophilia (antithrombin deficiency) was discovered in 1965, with the subsequent identification of deficiencies of protein C and protein S in the early 1980s. These were uncommon and strong risk factors, whereas the more recently discovered genetic variants are common and weak, and cause disease only in the presence of other factors.
This article was published in Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering