• factor VII;
  • deficiency;
  • bleeding


Factor VII deficiency, although rare, is now recognized as the most common autosomal recessive inherited factor deficiency. It is usually considered to be associated with bleeding only in the severely affected subject and heterozygotes (>10%) are not considered at risk. The general recommendation for surgery is to achieve a FVII level in excess of 15% (0.15 1U/mL). We present three cases of severe factor VII deficiency, each of whom appeared hemostatically competent based on clinical history. Subject 1 is a 33 year-old African-American female with a baseline FVII of <1%, who had a fractured tibia requiring open reduction with internal fixation without any FVII replacement and subsequently underwent successful laparoscopic knee surgery with a factor VII level measured at 6%. Subject 2 is a 58 year-old African-American female with a factor VII level of 9% who underwent an elective left total hip replacement without any factor replacement and had no excessive bleeding, but who sustained a pulmonary embolism postoperatively. Subject 3 is a 19-year-old African-American male with a baseline FVII of 1% with a history of active participation in football without noticeable injury and who underwent an emergent appendectomy without bleeding. These three cases represent individuals with the severe form of FVII deficiency who did not exhibit excessive bleeding when challenged with surgical procedures. The clinical history would appear the most valuable tool in predicting the likelihood of bleeding in these patients, and we suggest that the presumption that all patients with severe FVII deficiency should receive replacement therapy before surgical procedures may not be valid in all cases. Am. J. Hematol. 78:134–137, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.