Genetic Variations Observed in Arterial and Venous Thromboembolism – Relevance for Therapy, Risk Prevention and Prognosis

Dominic J. Harrington, Agata Malefora, Veronika Schmeleva, Sergey Kapustin, Ludmila Papayan, Mikhail Blinov, Pip Harrington, Mike Mitchell and Geoffrey F. Savidge

Abstract

We undertook genetic and biochemical assays in patients with arterial (n = 146) and venous (n = 199) thromboembolism and survivors of pulmonary embolism (n = 58) to study causation and gene-life style interactions. In the clinical material from North Western Russia, factor V Leiden was found to be a risk factor in venous thrombosis (OR = 3.6), while the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T mutation was a significant variable in both venous (p = 0.03) and arterial thrombosis (p = 0.004). Homocysteine levels were determined (n = 84) and hyperhomocysteinemia correlated with the T allele of the MTHFR gene, and with smoking and coffee consumption. Vitamin supplementation reduced homocysteine levels dependent on MTHFR genotype (36% TT, 25% CT, 22% CC). In pulmonary embolism patients, frequency of the −455G/A β-fibrinogen dimorphism was studied. Carriers of this allele were significantly underrepresented (p < 0.02) among pulmonary embolism survivors (34.5%) compared to controls (56.7%). Additionally, −455AA homozygotes were found in 11.7% controls but only 1.7% of pulmonary embolism patients (p = 0.006). In venous and arterial thrombosis cases, MTHFR and homocysteine data led to effective dietary supplementation with a reduced risk of disease progression. Results from the pulmonary embolism study may indicate that screening tests for the −455G/A β-fibrinogen genetic variation could be of prognostic value, and may point the way for novel anticoagulation strategies.

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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine ( CCLM) publishes articles on novel teaching and training methods applicable to laboratory medicine. CCLM welcomes contributions on the progress in fundamental and applied research and cutting-edge clinical laboratory medicine. It is one of the leading journals in the field, with an impact factor of over three. CCLM is the official journal of nine national clinical societies and associated with EFLM.

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