What are the sexual predilections of antithrombin III (ATIII) deficiency?

Updated: Feb 10, 2018
  • Author: James L Harper, MD; Chief Editor: Hassan M Yaish, MD  more...
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Answer

No sex-related difference is noted in terms of the prevalence of congenital antithrombin III deficiency. Women of childbearing age present special risk factors. Antithrombin III deficiency, like other congenital procoagulant defects, may contribute to an increased risk of spontaneous abortions. Particularly in cases of fetal or umbilical thrombosis as the cause of the miscarriage, it is important to consider antithrombin III deficiency, along with protein C or protein S deficiency and AP antibody syndrome.

Oral contraceptives (OCs) contain estrogen, which is a stimulator of coagulation. Women who are antithrombin III–deficient heterozygotes are at an increased risk of thrombosis when taking OCs, which have also been implicated in causing some decrease in antithrombin III level.

Parents of newborns who have a thrombotic event are at increased risk of having a procoagulant disorder themselves. These individuals should be referred for further assessment of their own risk factors.


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