Protein C Deficiency

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2019 Oct;143(10):1281-1285. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2017-0403-RS. Epub 2019 Feb 1.


Protein C (PC) deficiency is a heritable or acquired risk factor for thrombophilia, with presentations varying from asymptomatic to venous thromboembolism to neonatal purpura fulminans, a life-threatening disorder. Hereditary PC deficiency is caused by mutation in the PC (PROC) gene located on chromosome 2q14.3. Heterozygous and acquired PC deficiencies are more common than homozygous deficiency. The recommended initial laboratory test measures PC activity using either clot-based or chromogenic methods. There are numerous potential interferences in PC activity testing that may result in either false-positive (falsely low activity) or false-negative (falsely normal or elevated activity) results. In the present review, we discuss common clinical presentations; laboratory testing, with a focus on potential assay interferences; treatment options; and prognosis in patients with PC deficiency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation Tests
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Protein C Deficiency / complications
  • Protein C Deficiency / diagnosis*
  • Protein C Deficiency / physiopathology
  • Protein C Deficiency / therapy
  • Purpura Fulminans / etiology*
  • Purpura Fulminans / physiopathology
  • Purpura Fulminans / therapy
  • Thrombophilia / etiology*
  • Thrombophilia / physiopathology
  • Thrombophilia / therapy
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / physiopathology
  • Venous Thromboembolism / therapy

Supplementary concepts

  • Protein C Deficiency, Acquired
  • Thrombophilia, hereditary