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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 78  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 406-

Thrombophilia in venous leg ulcers: A comparative study in early and later onset

1 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Hospital São João, EPE, Porto, Portugal
2 Department of Immunohemotherapy, Hospital São João, EPE, Porto, Portugal

Correspondence Address:
Ana M Calistru
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Hospital São João, EPE, Alameda Professor Hernâni Monteiro, 4200 319, Porto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.95477

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Background: Several studies found that the patients with chronic venous ulcers (CVU) have an increased prevalence of thrombophilia (44-75%), similar to that observed in deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The patients who develop CVU before their 50 th birthday appear to represent a distinct group in terms of etiology, natural history and prognosis. Aim: To analyze the nature and prevalence of thrombophilia in patients with early onset of CVU (before 50-years old) compared with a group of patients with later onset. Methods: Twenty-seven consecutive patients of each group were studied . They underwent clinical assessment and blood testing for factor V Leiden, prothrombin G20210A, methyltetrahydrofolate reductase C677T, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) mutations, antithrombin, proteins C and S levels, and also antiphospholipid antibodies (anticardiolipin antibodies and lupus anticoagulant), cryoglobulins and cryoagglutinins. Results: All the patients had at least one thrombophilia. The prevalences of single, 2 and ≥3 thrombophilias were 29.6%, 40.7% and 29.6%, respectively, in the early onset group, compared with 33.3%, 59.2% and 7.4% in the later onset group. The PAI-1 4G/4G homozygous mutation was significantly more common in patients with early onset of ulcer. The prevalences of factor V Leiden, prothrombin G20210A, elevated titer of antiphospholipid antibodies and the presence of cryoglobulins were higher in the early onset group, although the differences were not statistically significant. Conclusion : Our study brings evidence of a higher thrombophilic risk among the patients with early onset of the CVU as they had significantly higher prevalence of multiple (≥3) thrombophilias (P=0.03), homozygous mutations (P=0.03) and family history of leg ulcer (P=0.02) when compared with patients with later onset. Thrombophilia screening is important in patients with CVU before the age of 50 in order to stratify the thrombotic risk and to allow an appropriate prophylactic and therapeutic management.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow