Factor V Leiden Blood Disorder

Factor V Leiden blood disorder is a genetic hypercoagulability disorder which is named after the city Leiden, Netherlands where it was first recognized in 1994 by Professor R Bertina. In this factor 5 blood disorder the factor V protein which is required for blood to clot properly is abnormal and is called factor V Leiden.

Factor V Leiden Blood Disorder

The variant or mutated protein is the most common hereditary blood disorder in Eurasians. The people who have this mutant gene are far more likely to form blood clots when not required and this can result in all kinds of complications. A few of the problems that this can cause are discussed below.

What problems can the factor V blood disorder cause?

The formation of blood clots which are not normal is the primary symptom of this disease.

This can get complicated if the blood clot breaks away from the original site and travels through the bloodstream. It could lead to blocked blood vessels.

People with this disorder are also more likely to suffer from a condition called deep venous thrombosis or DVT. This usually occurs in the legs, but can happen in other body parts as well.

The limbs are not the only areas which can get affected by these blood clots running through the bloodstream. In case the blood clots get to the lungs they can become pulmonary emboli. The abnormal blood clotting can make it difficult for women to get pregnant as well.

Women who have the factor 5 blood disorder also have an increased risk of miscarriage during pregnancy. Other complications with internal organs can also prove fatal if not resolved in time. However while the presence of the mutation does increase the risk of these blood clots just 10% of people actually develop these abnormal blood clots.

How is factor 5 blood disorder diagnosed?

Most people do not even know that they have a blood disorder of this nature till they have a thrombosis. Any abnormal clotting incident, such as this, should be followed with a screening for the factor V blood disorder in the patient. The thrombotic event is especially significant in a patient who has a family history of the disease since it is a hereditary one.

Two kinds of tests are done at laboratories. This includes one which is based on snake venom and another that is an aPTT based test. They both need blood samples and do not take very long to conduct.

Essentially two samples of blood from the patient are tested simultaneously for clotting time and the ratio between the two test results lets the tester know if the person has the disorder or not. Most hospital labs will be able to conduct either of these tests. There is an additional genetic test that can be done for diagnosis of the blood disorder.

However it is not so common and may be done in a more specialized hospital. It is generally recommended that anyone below the age of 45 who has a family history of factor V Leiden should get screened for the blood disorder.

Posted in: Blood Disorders

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