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Factor V Leiden: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Factor V Leiden ?

Factor V Leiden (FVL) is a genetic mutation that makes the blood more prone to abnormal clotting. This can lead to vein clots (deep vein thrombosis). Some of the risks associated with traveling include DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and PE (pulmonary embolism), but not heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots in the arteries of the legs.

A FVL result is caused by a change (mutation) of the gene that makes one of the proteins in our coagulation system. There are two types of FVL: those that are inherited from your mother and those that are inherited from your father. Heterozygous means that one copy of the F5 gene has been mutated. "Homozygous" means that two copies of the F5 gene have been mutated. The "heterozygous" form is more common. There is a chance that FVL may increase the risk of developing abnormal blood clots, depending on whether you have the heterozygous or the homozygous mutation.

People with FVL are at a higher risk of developing DVT and PE. This can happen in the veins of your legs or arms, but it can also occur in other veins in your body, such as the veins in your liver, kidneys, intestines, or brain. When this happens, it's called a pulmonary embolism. A clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, usually from a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The mutation is named factor V "Leiden" because it was first discovered at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 1994.


What is Factor V Leiden


Explanation of medical terms and concepts Factor V Leiden

Factor V city (FAK-tur 5 LIDE-n) may be a mutation of 1 of the curdling factors within the blood. This mutation will increase your probability of developing abnormal blood clots, most typically in your legs or lungs.

Most people with prothrombin accelerator cities ne'er develop abnormal clots. however in those that do, these abnormal clots will result in semi permanent health issues or become serious.

Both men and girls will have a prothrombin accelerator city. Girls United Nations agencies carrying the prothrombin accelerator city mutation might have associated an increased tendency to develop blood clots throughout gestation or once taking the endocrine steroid hormone.

If you have got prothrombin accelerator city and have developed blood clots, medicament medications will reduce your risk of developing further blood clots and assist you avoid probably serious complications.


Factor V Leiden is a condition in which the factor V gene has an alteration (mutation) that causes it to produce blood clots more easily than normal Factor V Leiden can also be called factor five Leiden after the city in The Netherlands where people with this mutation were identified as early as 1996. If you have one copy of this mutation you are said to have heterozygous factor V Leiden or simply factor V Leiden; if you have two copies of this mutation you are said to have homozygous factor V Leiden or double-factor-V-Leiden syndrome

Mutation Factor V Leiden mutation is a genetic condition that can increase the risk of developing a blood clot Those with Factor V Leiden are born with this disorder as it is inherited through genes from their parents It is estimated that 5 percent of people have Factor V Leiden and about half do not know they have it Only one in four people who carry the gene for factor V leiden will develop blood clots This disorder makes the blood clot more easily which can lead to heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms

Who is at risk for factor V Leiden (FVL)?

Heterozygous FVL mutation is more common among people of Northern European heritage. If a child inherits this mutation, they have a 25% chance of getting it from their parents.

How common is factor V Leiden (FVL)?

In the United States, FVL is present in around 5% of the population. It is less common in people of Native American or African-American descent than in those from Northern European ancestry.

FVL is found in some parts of Northern Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. It is less common in other parts of the world.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes factor V Leiden (FVL)?

A genetic mutation causes Factor V Leiden. This mutation makes the coagulation factor V protein, one of the many proteins in the coagulation system. Without this protein, blood does not clot properly after an injury. FVL increases the tendency of the blood to clot. As a result, people with FVL are at greater risk of developing abnormal blood clots.

What are the symptoms of Factor V Leiden (FVL)?

FVL is a mutation, but it does not cause any symptoms on its own. Most people who inherit FVL from their mother and/or father will never develop abnormal blood clots; in some cases, however, they may have a family history of DVT or PE. People should not have an abnormal blood clot in their lifetime.

People who have the FVL may have a personal or family history of:

  • DVT or PE before age 60

  • Recurrent DVT or PE

  • Pregnancy can increase the risk of DVT or PE. This is especially dangerous during or right after pregnancy.

  • If you get a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or pulmonary embolism soon after starting birth control pills or other hormonal treatments, you may need to have surgery.

If you or someone you know has FVL, be aware of the symptoms of DVT and PE. These conditions are medical emergencies, and if you experience them, it is important to know how to get help.

If you have a DVT in a vein in your leg or arm, your symptoms may include:

  • Swelling

  • Pain, tenderness

  • If the skin on your arm turns purple or blue, it might be a sign of a health problem.

  • A red, inflamed skin condition that feels warm to the touch

Symptoms of PE may include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath

  • If you experience sharp chest pain that gets worse when you take deep breaths or cough or sneeze, it may be a sign of a heart attack.

  • A rapid heartbeat and palpitations (a fast heart rate) is a sign of a health problem.

  • Fainting or near-fainting

  • Coughing up blood

Diagnosis and Tests

How is factor V Leiden (FVL) diagnosed?

Your doctor can diagnose FVL by ordering special tests that are specifically designed to detect the presence of the mutation.

Blood tests are not always needed to diagnose FVL. However, if you or someone in your family has had DVT or PE before, testing may be recommended. It is very important to talk with your doctor(s) about any concerns you have before making this decision. The experiment has been tested.

Management and Treatment

How is factor V Leiden (FVL) treated?

A person with the factor V Leiden mutation does not need any specific treatment. However, when someone is diagnosed with a DVT or pulmonary embolism, treatment with anticoagulants will be necessary and should be started as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the condition, further treatment may be needed. If the symptoms are severe, other treatments may be necessary as well. Hospitalization may sometimes be necessary for those treatments.

People who know they have FVL (a gene that puts them at risk for blood clots) don't have to take blood thinners. But it's important to talk to your doctor about what you should be aware of and what you can do to minimize your risk. There is a risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE). Some things you can talk to your doctor about include:

  • There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of developing DVT or PE, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, and being more active.

  • It is not necessary to wear graduated compression stockings while on long flights and long road trips.

  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages while on a long flight. This will help to avoid feeling sick or having any other problems.

  • Talk to your doctor or counselor about contraception before taking birth control pills or becoming pregnant.

What other problems might be associated with Factor V Leiden (FVL)?

There is an increased risk of developing DVT or PE if you have the blood clotting disorder, but the risk of miscarriage or other pregnancy complications may also increase. These complications could include preeclampsia and eclampsia, a condition in which the mother's blood pressure rises high enough to cause her to have a seizure, and having a fetus that grows slowly. FVL is more likely to lead to a miscarriage later in pregnancy (after the first trimester).

There is still debate as to whether or not the FVL mutation is a cause of pregnancy complications. However, there are many risk factors that are associated with the development of these complications, so it's difficult to say for sure.


Can factor V Leiden (FVL) be prevented?

There are currently no genetic treatments that can stop the inheritance of FVL from a parent.

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the long-term prognosis for people who have factor V Leiden?

Most people who have FVL will never develop blood clots. Most women with the condition will have healthy pregnancies. But the risks may be higher if a person has inherited two mutated copies of the gene (one from each parent).

If you have FVL, your doctor may prescribe anticoagulants for at least a few months to prevent DVT or PE. In most cases, the FVL mutation itself does not mean lifelong anticoagulants are necessary. However, if you have more than one episode of DVT or PE, or if you have additional medical conditions that require treatment with anticoagulants, your doctor may prescribe them. If the blood clotting process is not stopped, long-term treatment with anticoagulants may be necessary.

Living With

If you have factor V Leiden, should you call your doctor?

If you develop any symptoms of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, you should contact your doctor right away or go to the Emergency Department. These conditions can be very dangerous and require immediate medical attention.

What type of doctor is best suited to treat Factor V Leiden (FVL)??

If you are having problems with clots, your provider may refer you to a vascular specialist or a hematologist who specializes in blood clotting disorders. Blood clotting disorders can be general, whether they involve the blood vessels or the blood itself. Are these traits passed down from the parents?

Preparing for your appointment

Your doctor might refer you to a specialist in genetic disorders (geneticist) or a specialist in blood disorders (hematologist) for testing to work out whether or not the reason behind your blood clots is genetic and, specifically, whether or not you have got clotting factor Leiden.


Here's some info to assist you in hardening your appointment.

  • List any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.

  • List your health history, including your history of blood clots. Include any family history of blood clots or known family members with factor V Leiden.

  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking, along with the dose for each.

  • List questions to ask your doctor.

For factor V Leiden, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What kinds of tests do I need?

  • Do I need to see a specialist?

  • Does my factor V Leiden need to be treated?

  • Do I need to take medication to prevent additional blood clots?

  • What types of side effects can I expect from the medication?

  • Do I need to limit my activity in any way?

  • If I have children, do they need to be tested?

  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

If your doctor recommends genetic testing, some questions you might want to ask the genetic specialist include:

  • How accurate is this test?

  • What are the risks of the test?

  • What information will come out of the test?

  • What will a positive or negative result tell me?

  • Can the results of the test affect my ability to obtain health insurance?

  • Is an uncertain result possible, and what would that mean?

  • What are my treatment options if a mutation is found?

  • Could other family members be affected?

  • Should my children be tested?

  • What measures are in place to protect my privacy?

  • How experienced is the lab at performing this test?

  • How long will it take to get results back?

General summary

Factor V Leiden is a genetic condition that increases the risk for abnormal blood clots especially in people who are taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy Common symptoms include nosebleeds and bleeding gums but dangerous internal blood clots may develop without warning Abnormal blood clots can lead to heart attack stroke and pulmonary embolism if left untreated

How serious is factor V Leiden?

Factor V Leiden is a genetic condition that can trigger abnormal blood clotting A gene mutation causes the body to produce an altered form of factor V which makes your blood less able to clot properly This can cause clots in various places throughout the body including the legs and lungs Factor V Leiden is most common in people whose ancestry is primarily from Asia Africa or the Mediterranean region

Which anticoagulant is used for factor V Leiden?

Warfarin is an anticoagulant that is used to treat or prevent the formation of blood clots in people with certain types of irregular heartbeats artificial heart valves and other heart problems It's also used to reduce the risk of death in people with a type of abnormal heartbeat called atrial fibrillation Because warfarin can cause internal bleeding it's important to monitor your blood regularly while taking this medication The dosage is adjusted based on factors such as age weight and medical condition

Does aspirin help factor V Leiden?

What is factor V Leiden? Factor V Leiden is a faulty variation of a blood clotting protein called factor V The malfunctioning factor V causes the blood to take longer than normal to clot and may clump together abnormally when it does leading to increased risk of having a potentially fatal clot in the heart or brain What causes this condition? People with two copies of the factor V gene mutation (one inherited from each parent) are known as homozygous for this condition This is the most common cause of hereditary thrombophilia which refers to any genetic defect that makes

Can I take ibuprofen with Factor V Leiden?

People who have Factor V Leiden and take ibuprofen (Advil and other brand names) probably know that this is not safe Ibuprofen can increase the risk for major bleeding in people with factor V Leiden This medication should be discontinued upon discovery of the genetic mutation and never taken again

Can you donate blood with Factor V Leiden?

Can you donate blood with Factor V Leiden? That's one of the questions people who know they have Factor V Leiden often ask themselves The answer is that while you may be eligible to donate blood we suggest you discuss it with your doctor first

Does factor V Leiden affect menstruation?

Factor V Leiden is a missing protein in a blood clotting factor resulting in an excessive amount of time it takes for a clot to form Factor V Leiden does not affect menstruation However women with this genetic abnormality are at increased risk for certain types of blood clots that can lead to heart attacks strokes and deep vein thrombosis Women who have Menorrhagia or who experience heavy bleeding during their periods may be more likely to have DVT (deep vein thrombosis) than other women There are some studies that show prolonged bed rest while on your period may increase the risk

What is the difference between Factor V and factor V Leiden?

The most common blood clotting disorder is hemophilia which prevents a person's blood from clotting normally However there are other rarer disorders that affect its ability to clot properly Factor V Leiden and factor V are two of these disorders Both factor V Leiden and factor V increase the risk of developing a dangerous blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism In fact both factors share many similarities with one another including symptoms risk factors causes and treatment options; however they do differ in some

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Factor V Leiden: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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