Pseudohomozygosity for activated protein C resistance is a risk factor for venous thrombosis


Dr Castaman Department of Haematology, San Bortolo Hospital, I-36100 Vicenza, Italy. e-mail:


Pseudohomozygosity for activated protein C resistance (APC-r) is a rare condition due to the association of heterozygous FV Leiden mutation and partial type I FV deficiency. To assess the risk of venous thromboembolism in these subjects, seven families including 11 pseudohomozygotes and 45 relatives were examined. Among the relatives, 16 were heterozygous FV Leiden carriers, nine showed partial FV deficiency and 20 no abnormalities. Deep vein thrombosis occurred in 4/11 (36.3%) pseudohomozygous patients versus 6/16 (37.4%) FV Leiden carriers and 1/20 (5%) normal relatives. Pseudohomozygotes and FV Leiden carriers had a significantly increased risk of venous thrombosis in comparison to normal relatives (RR 8.8 and 5.7, respectively). There was no difference between the thrombotic risk of pseudohomozygous subjects and of FV Leiden carriers (RR 1.6, 95% CI 0.43–5.7). Furthermore, there was no difference in thrombosis-free survival between pseudohomozygotes and 45 consecutive FV Leiden heterozygous outpatients, suggesting that a referral bias may explain the apparent younger age of thrombosis in the pseudohomozygotes in comparison to relatives with FV Leiden heterozygosity (27 years v 54 years; P = 0.01). Pseudohomozygosity for APC resistance carries a significantly higher risk for venous thromboembolism in comparison to normal subjects, but probably not in comparison to heterozygous FV Leiden carriers.