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Testing for thrombophilia: an evidence-based approach
  1. L Merriman1,
  2. M Greaves2
  1. 1Department of Haematology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, UK
  2. 2Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr L Merriman
 Ward 16, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Cornhill Road, Aberdeen AB25 2ZN, UK;kim.luke{at}


Thrombophilia is a disorder of haemostasis in which there is a tendency for the occurrence of thrombosis. This tendency can be inherited or acquired. This review outlines common acquired and inherited thrombophilic conditions and discusses indications for testing. It is concluded that testing for acquired thrombophilic conditions should be considered in all cases of venous thrombosis, whereas testing for inherited thrombophilic conditions is unlikely to be helpful. If testing for inherited thrombophilia is to be carried out, the benefits, pitfalls and unwanted consequences of such testing should be taken into account.

  • DVT, deep venous thrombosis
  • FVL, factor V Leiden
  • HRT, hormone replacement therapy
  • OCP, oral contraceptive pill
  • VTE, venous thromboembolism
  • venous thrombosis
  • thrombosis
  • thromboembolism
  • pulmonary embolism
  • thrombophilia

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

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