Factor Five Leiden


Prior to 1993 when the FVL gene was found to be resistant to Activated Protein C, only about 25% of people with known blood clotting disorders were being diagnosed. One year later in Leiden Netherlands the single point mutation on the factor five gene was discovered. This discovery was very important not only to Health Care Providers but to us as well, the patients.

As in many cases the more you know, the more questions you have. Sometimes the answers may be difficult at best to find. One of the new problems that we now face is that many Health Care Providers know little to nothing about FVL. There is still so much that needs to be learned and a lot of research that is yet to be done. For instance, how many of us are being tested for other blood clotting disorders at the time we are being tested for FVL. There are articles out that state having FVL can put you at a higher risk of having inherited some of the other thrombophiliac disorders as well, such as Antithrombin deficiency or Prothrombin 20210 or possibly Protein C or S deficiency. If so then, how much does our risk associated with pregnancy, birth control, hormone replacement therapy, trauma or a simple surgery increase? Another thing to consider is if we have a second mutation then our children have the same chance of inheriting that as well. If one parent has two mutated genes for any blood factor disorder then all the children will be heterozygous for that disorders as well. This is if the other parent has no clotting factor disorders. If only one parent is heterozygous for any of the thrombophilia disorders and the other parent is negative, then all children will have a 50/50 chance of inheritance. If both parents are homozygous, both have two mutated genes, then all of their children will be homozygous as well.

Other things to think about are a set standard of practice with all thrombophiliacs. If you become pregnant and have a blood clotting history then your Health Care Provider would most likely put you on a low dose heparin therapy during the pregnancy and postpartum period. However if you have been diagnosed as a thrombophiliac and have no clotting history would you also need the same treatment. Along with FVL or other thrombophiliac disorders comes a increased of venous thrombosis associated with pregnancy as well as the postpartum period. Hopefully there are many things that will become a standard of practice for all thrombophiliacs someday as education about FVL increases in the medical society. However these would be wise things to discuss with your Health Care Provider in the mean time before you decide to become pregnant. [CONTINUED]