The prothrombin G20210A mutation and factor V Leiden have been found to be associated with an increased risk of venous thrombosis, but the reported prevalences of the prothrombin gene variant both in the normal population and in patients with deep venous thrombosis (DVT) vary greatly in the literature. Moreover, the influence of oral contraceptives (OC) on thrombotic events in patients with the prothrombin G20210A variant has not been well established. In this study we evaluate both circumstances.
A case-control study was run on 229 patients with DVT and 246 healthy controls. The patients' history of thrombosis and acquired thrombotic risk factors, especially OC, were recorded. Prothrombin G20210A mutation, factor V Leiden, antithrombin, heparin II cofactor, plasminogen and proteins C and S were evaluated.
Seven and a half percent of the patients and 2.9% of the controls were carriers of the prothrombin mutation, while 12.2% of the patients and 1.6% of the controls had factor V Leiden. Among the 229 DVT patients there were 130 patients with clinically suspected thrombophilia (first thrombotic event occurring before the age of 45 years or positive family history of thrombosis or recurrent venous thrombosis). Ten percent of these 130 patients were carriers of the prothrombin G20210A mutation and 18.5% had the factor V Leiden mutation. The odds ratios (OR) for DVT risk were: 2.4 (95% CI, 1.0-6.3) for the total DVT patients and 5.2 (95% CI, 1.4-19.5) for the patients with clinically suspected thrombophilia with the prothrombin mutation. The risk of thrombosis was 6.9 (95% CI, 2.3-20.6) for the DVT patients and 14.3 (95% CI, 3.3-64.6) for the patients with clinically suspected thrombophilia with factor V Leiden. Fifty-five percent of the patients with combined congenital defects (prothrombin mutation G20210A plus another congenital defect) had recurrent thrombosis. In women receiving OC the risk of DVT was 3.5 (95% CI, 1.5-8.2) that of the patients not receiving OC. When women with combined defects were also taking OC, the risk of thrombosis increased significantly.
The prevalence of the prothrombin G20210A mutation in the healthy population in our study is similar to that observed in other southern European countries. The prothrombin G20210A mutation does not by itself seem to be a high thrombotic risk factor. However, when it is present together with other thrombotic risk factors, the predicted risk of thrombotic events increases. The use of OC by women with the prothrombin G20210A variant or FV Leiden, either alone or combined with other thrombotic risk factors, was associated with a significant increase in the risk of venous thrombosis.