Blood-Clotting Disorders

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Topic Overview

Some people are born with an increased tendency to form blood clots. These are called inherited blood-clotting disorders. They are often related to:

  • Mutated genes (such as factor V Leiden, factor II).
  • Decreased amounts of certain proteins. These may include protein C, protein S, and antithrombin III.
  • Increased levels of other substances. These may include antiphospholipid and lupus anticoagulant.

Other people get blood clots because of a health problem. Blood clots can happen after surgery or injury. And they can happen when a person doesn't move around for a long time.

Blood clots can be especially serious when they are in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) and in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

Testing

There are several tests that can help find the cause of a blood clotting problem. Talk to your doctor about whether you need testing.

These tests may include:

  • Fibrinogen.
  • Antithrombin.
  • Protein C.
  • Protein S.
  • Factor V Leiden.
  • Antiphospholipid antibody
  • Lupus anticoagulant.

Related Information

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Lipe B, Ornstein DL (2011). Deficiencies of natural anticoagulants, protein C, protein S, and antithrombin. Circulation, 124(14): e365–e368.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology

Current as ofFebruary 9, 2015