Testing for inherited thrombophilia does not reduce the recurrence of venous thrombosis

M. Coppens, J.H. Reijnders, S. Middeldorp, C.J.M. Doggen, F.R. Rosendaal

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Background: Inherited thrombophilia is only weakly associated with recurrence in patients with a first venous thrombosis (VT). In spite of this, thrombophilia testing is often performed in these patients. Positive results may influence patient management such as prolonged anticoagulant treatment or intensified prophylaxis in high-risk situations.

Objective: To investigate whether thrombophilia testing reduces the risk of recurrent VT by virtue of these management alterations.

Methods: From a large case–control study of patients (MEGA study), aged 18–70 years, with a first VT between 1999 and 2004, we selected 197 patients who had had a recurrence during follow-up. We compared the incidence of thrombophilia testing to that of a control cohort of 324 patients. We calculated the odds ratio (OR) for recurrent thrombosis in tested vs. non-tested patients. Only patients who were tested before recurrence were regarded as tested. All first and recurrent thrombotic events were objectively confirmed.

Results: Thrombophilia tests were performed in 35% of cases and in 30% of controls. The OR for recurrence was 1.2 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9–1.8] for tested vs. non-tested patients. After correction for age, sex, family history, geographic region, presence of clinical risk factors, and year of first VT, the OR remained unchanged.

Discussion: Thrombophilia testing in patients with a first VT does not reduce the incidence of recurrence in clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1474-1477
JournalJournal of thrombosis and haemostasis
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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