Resistance to activated protein C (APCR) in children with venous or arterial thromboembolism


Dr Ulrike Nowak-Göttl Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Department of Paediatrics, Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 33, D-48149 Münster, Germany.


Resistance to activated protein C (APCR), in the majority of cases due to the point mutation Arg 506 Gln of the factor V gene, has emerged as the most important hereditary cause of venous thromboembolism. Using an activated thromboplastin time (aPTT) based method in the presence of APC together with a DNA technique based on the polymerase chain reaction, we investigated 37 children with venous (V: n = 19) or arterial (A: n = 18) thromboembolism and 196 age-matched healthy controls for the presence of this mutation. In the control group 10 children were detected to be heterozygous for the factor V Leiden mutation, indicating a prevalence of 5.1%. 10/19 children (52%) with venous thrombosis and 7/18 (38%) patients with arterial thromboembolism showed the common factor V gene mutation. Additional inherited coagulation disorders were found in 1/10 (V: 10%) and 2/7 (A: 28%) APC-resistant patients. Inherited coagulation disorders without APCR were diagnosed in 3/9 (V: 33%) and 2/11 (A: 18%) children. Furthermore, we diagnosed exogenous risk factors in 6/10 (V: 60%) and 2/7 (A: 28%) children with thrombosis and APCR. These data are evidence that APCR combined with exogenous reasons may play an important role in the early manifestation of thromboembolism during infancy and childhood.