, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 417-425

Prothrombotic states that predispose to stroke

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Opinion statement

Hereditary prothrombotic states of clinical importance include factor V Leiden, the prothrombin 20210A mutation, deficiencies of protein C, protein S, or antithrombin, sickle cell disease, and hyperhomocysteinemia. Major acquired prothrombotic states include cancer, myeloproliferative disorders, the antiphospholipid syndrome, and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Because most of the hereditary prothrombic states are not established risk factors for arterial thrombosis, routine laboratory testing in most patients with ischemic stroke should be limited to complete blood count, lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibodies, and plasma total homocysteine. Additional testing for factor V Leiden, prothrombin 20210A, antithrombin, protein C, and protein S may be indicated for patients under the age of 50 or those with paradoxical cerebral embolism. The treatment of acute ischemic stroke in patients with prothrombotic states is similar to that in patients without an identifiable prothrombotic condition, and may include antiplatelet agents, anticoagulants, or thrombolytic therapy in patients who otherwise meet eligibility criteria. The potential benefit of chronic anticoagulation therapy for the primary or secondary prevention of stroke in patients with prothrombotic states has not been addressed in controlled clinical trials. Specific therapeutic approaches for the prevention of stroke are established for patients with sickle cell disease, myeloproliferative disorders, and heparininduced thrombocytopenia, and are under investigation for hyperhomocysteinemia and the antiphospholipid syndrome.