Background: There are very few data on the prevalence of coagulation abnormalities in primary deep vein thrombosis of the upper limbs.
Objective: To determine if coagulation abnormalities play a role in effort-related and/or idiopathic (non-effort-related) upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis (UEDVT).
Methods: Fifty-one consecutive patients (21 men and 30 women) who had effort-related (n = 20) or idiopathic (n = 31) UEDVT over an 18-year period (median age at diagnosis, 32 years; age range, 15-86 years) were routinely reexamined. Plasma was screened for antithrombin, protein C, and protein S deficiencies and for antiphospholipid antibodies (lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibodies). The DNA was screened for factor V Leiden and for prothrombin gene G20210A mutations.
Results: The median age (35 vs. 28 years), the proportion of women (81% [25/31] vs. 25% [5/201), the proportion of patients with a personal and/or family history of thromboembolism (42% [13/31] vs. 15% [3/20]), and the proportion of patients with at least 1 coagulation abnormality (42% [13/31] vs. 15% [3/20]) were higher in the idiopathic UEDVT group than in the effort-related UEDVT group. The odds ratio of having a coagulation abnormality was 4.09 (95% confidence interval, 0.99-16.78; P = .06) in the idiopathic UEDVT group compared with the effort-related UEDVT group.
Conclusion: Hypercoagulable states appear to play a significant role in idiopathic but not in effort-related UEDVT.