Background Chronic venous leg ulcers (CVU) cause considerable burden of disease for the patients as well as enormous costs for health care systems. The pathophysiology of CVU is complex and not entirely understood. So far reliable pathogenic and/or prognostic parameters have not been identified.
Objectives We studied the role of thrombophilia in patients referred to a University dermatology department for treatment of CVU.
Patients and methods A cohort of 310 patients with active chronic venous leg ulcers (CEAP 6) was stratified into two comparably large groups according to the presence or absence of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS+; PTS−) as determined using duplex scan and/or phlebography. In addition, several thrombophilia parameters were assessed.
Results The prevalence of protein S deficiency and factor V Leiden mutation was significantly higher in PTS+ patients compared with the PTS− group. However, patients in both subgroups revealed high prevalences of thrombophilia (antithrombin deficiency, protein C deficiency, protein S deficiency, activated protein C resistance, factor V mutation or elevated homocysteine).
Conclusion Based on these data, it is conceivable that thrombophilia contributes to the pathogenesis of CVU, possibly through induction of microcirculatory dysregulations.