The prothrombotic phenotypes in familial protein C deficiency are differentiated by computational modeling of thrombin generation

PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44378. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044378. Epub 2012 Sep 12.


The underlying cause of thrombosis in a large protein C (PC) deficient Vermont kindred appears to be multicausal and not explained by PC deficiency alone. We evaluated the contribution of coagulation factors to thrombin generation in this population utilizing a mathematical model that incorporates a mechanistic description of the PC pathway. Thrombin generation profiles for each individual were generated with and without the contribution of the PC pathway. Parameters that describe thrombin generation: maximum level (MaxL) and rate (MaxR), their respective times (TMaxL, TMaxR), area under the curve (AUC) and clotting time (CT) were examined in individuals ± PC mutation, ± prothrombin G20210A polymorphism and ± thrombosis history (DVT or PE). This family (n = 364) is shifted towards greater thrombin generation relative to the mean physiologic control. When this family was analyzed with the PC pathway, our results showed that: carriers of the PC mutation (n = 81) had higher MaxL and MaxR and greater AUC (all p<0.001) than non-carriers (n = 283); and individuals with a DVT and/or PE history (n = 13) had higher MaxL (p = 0.005) and greater AUC (p<0.001) than individuals without a thrombosis history (n = 351). These differences were further stratified by gender, with women in all categories generating more thrombin than males. These results show that all individuals within this family with or without PC deficiency have an increased baseline procoagulant potential reflective of increased thrombin generation. In addition, variations within the plasma composition of each individual can further segregate out increased procoagulant phenotypes, with gender-associated plasma compositional differences playing a large role.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Coagulation Tests
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Protein C Deficiency / blood*
  • Protein C Deficiency / genetics*
  • Prothrombin / metabolism*
  • Sex Factors
  • Thrombin / metabolism*
  • Thrombosis / blood
  • Thrombosis / genetics


  • Prothrombin
  • Thrombin