Prevalence of thrombophilic mutations in patients with unprovoked thromboembolic disease. A comparative analysis regarding arterial and venous disease

Hippokratia 2012; 16(3):250-255

E. Mandala, C. Lafaras, C. Tsioni, M. Speletas, A. Papageorgiou, D. Kleta, T. Dardavessis, G. Ilonidis


Background: Thromboembolic disease (TED) represents one of the main reasons of morbitity and mortality in Western World. Venous and arterial thrombotic disorders have long been viewed as separate pathophysiological entities. However, in recent times the separate nature of arterial and venous thrombotic events has been challenged. Although inherited thrombophilia’s predominant clinical manifestation is venous thrombosis, its contribution to arterial thrombosis remains controversial. Purpose of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of the most common thrombophilic mutations, FV Leiden G1691A-FVL and FII G20210A-PTM and to assess the differences between venous, arterial and mixed thrombotic events. Testing for polymorphism MTHFR C677T and antithrombin, protein C and protein S was also performed. Correlations with dyslipidemia, smoking, obesity, homocysteine and antiphospholipid antibodies were made.
Methods: 515 patients with unprovoked TED, 263 males, median age 44 years, were studied. Patients were divided into three groups: 258 with venous thrombosis (group A), 239 with arterial (group B) and 18 with mixed episodes (group C). All patients were interviewed regarding family history of TED, origin, smoking and dyslipidemia. Body mass index (BMI) had been calculated. Molecular assessment of the FVL, PTM and MTHFR C677T was performed. Antithrombin, protein C, protein S, APCR, homocysteine, antiphospholipid antibodies and lipid profile were also measured.
Results: The population studied was homogenous among three groups as regards age (p=0.943), lipid profile (p=0.271), BMI (p=0.506), homocysteine (p=0.177), antiphospholipid antibodies (p=0.576), and positive family history (p=0.099). There was no difference in the prevalence of FVL between venous and arterial disease (p=0.440). Significant correlation of PTM with venous TED was found (p=0.001). The number of positive and negative for MTHFR presented statistically significant difference with a support in arterial disease (p=0.05). Moreover, a 2-fold increase in the risk of venous thrombosis in FVL positive patients (odds ratio: 2.153) and a positive correlation of homocysteine levels with MTHFR C677T (p<0.001) was found.
Conclusions: Correlation of PTM with venous thrombosis was established. Analysis showed no difference in prevalence of FVL between venous and arterial thrombosis, indicating that FVL might be a predisposing factor for arterial disease. A significant increase in MTHFR C677T prevalence in arterial disease was found. In conclusion, young patients with unprovoked arterial disease should undergo evaluation for thrombophilic genes. Identification of these mutations is important in the overall assessment and management of patients at high risk. Findings will influence the decisions of stratified approaches for antithrombotic therapy either primary or secondary thromboprophylaxis, the duration of therapy, the potential for avoiding clinical thrombosis by risk factor modification and the genetic counselling of family members. However, further studies are needed to clarify the nature of the association regarding venous and arterial thrombotic events.