Congenital factor VII deficiency: therapy with recombinant activated factor VII -- a critical appraisal

Haemophilia. 2006 Jan;12(1):19-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2516.2006.01180.x.


Congenital factor VII (FVII) deficiency is a rare bleeding disorder with high phenotypic variability, and optimal management has yet to be determined. Treatment has traditionally involved FVII replacement therapy using fresh frozen plasma, prothrombin complex concentrates or plasma-derived FVII concentrates. Recombinant activated FVII (rFVIIa, NovoSeven(R)), the first recombinant treatment option, has recently been approved in the European Union for use in congenital FVII deficiency, but has been available on an emergency and compassionate use basis since 1988. In FVII deficiency, rFVIIa serves as substitution therapy as it provides the physiological ligand (FVIIa) for tissue factor, its receptor exposed at the site of vascular injury. This paper provides an overview of published and unpublished experience with rFVIIa in patients with congenital FVII deficiency from the NovoSeven compassionate and emergency use programmes (1988-99) and of independent reports in the literature. Recombinant FVIIa has been reported to provide effective haemostasis in patients of all ages and in a range of bleeding situations, including acute central nervous system/life-threatening bleeding episodes (15 episodes in 12 patients), non-life-threatening bleeding episodes (>32 episodes in 17 patients), surgery (>40 interventions in 25 patients) and childbirth (three women). Preliminary reports suggest that it may also be effective prophylactically. The risk of thrombosis in FVII-deficient patients treated with rFVIIa is unknown, as is the occurrence of inhibiting antibodies. A postlicensure pharmacovigilance registry (Seven Treatment Evaluation Registry) has been set up to continue to monitor the efficacy and safety (including alloantibody development) of rFVIIa in patients with FVII deficiency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergencies
  • Factor VII / therapeutic use*
  • Factor VII Deficiency / congenital*
  • Factor VII Deficiency / therapy
  • Factor VIIa
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Hemostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Factor VII
  • recombinant FVIIa
  • Factor VIIa