Hypercoagulability due to high coagulation factors XI, VIII, IX, II, and fibrinogen is recognized as a risk factor of venous thromboembolism (VTE). These factors are cumulatively explored by the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT). To test the hypothesis that a short APTT increases the risk of VTE, a case-control study was carried out in 605 patients referred for thrombophilia testing after documented VTE and in 1290 controls. Median APTT ratio (coagulation time of test-to-reference plasma) values were 0.97 (range: 0.75-1.41) for patients and 1.00 (range: 0.72-1.33) for controls (P <.001). In patients who had an APTT ratio smaller than the fifth percentile of the distribution in controls, the odds ratio (OR) for VTE was 2.4 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.7-3.6) and was independent of inherited thrombophilic abnormalities. Further statistical analyses in 193 patients and 259 controls for whom factor VIII (FVIII) levels were available showed a decrease of the OR from 2.7 (95% CI: 1.4-5.3) to 2.1 (95% CI: 1.0-4.2), indicating that the risk was only partially mediated by high FVIII levels. In conclusion, hypercoagulability detected by a shortened APTT is independently associated with VTE. This inexpensive and simple test should be considered in the evaluation of the risk of VTE.
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