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Test Can Identify Risk for Recurring Blood Clots

Patients with low peak thrombin generation won't benefit from indefinite anticoagulant therapy, authors report

TUESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- A test that measures thrombin generation can be used to determine whether patients are at risk of having recurrent blood clots, according to a report in the July 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Gregor Hron, M.D., of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, and colleagues studied 914 patients who experienced their first spontaneous venous thromboembolism (VTE) between 1992 and 2005, and were followed for an average of 47 months after ending vitamin K antagonist therapy.

VTE recurred in 11 percent of the subjects, and those without recurrent VTE had lower thrombin generation than those with recurrent VTE. According to the analysis, the likelihood of recurrent VTE in patients with peak thrombin generation of less than 400 nM after ending vitamin K therapy was as low as 6.5 percent after four years versus 20 percent among patients with peak thrombin generation of 400 nM or higher.

"Patients with low peak thrombin generation (less than 400 nM) would almost certainly not benefit from indefinite anticoagulant therapy," the authors conclude. "Consequently, extensive thrombophilia screening appears to be unnecessary in this large, low-risk patient group."

Some study equipment came from Technoclone of Vienna, and one author is chief scientific officer for TechnocloneGmbH.

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