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Congenital antithrombin III deficiency

Definition

Congenital antithrombin III deficiency is a genetic disorder that causes the blood to clot more than normal.

Alternative Names

Deficiency - antithrombin III - congenital; Antithrombin III deficiency - congenital

Causes

Symptoms

People will usually have symptoms of a blood clot, including:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath and pain when taking deep breaths
  • Swelling of one leg

Exams and Tests

A physical exam may show:

  • Abnormal lung sounds
  • Fast breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Swollen foot or leg

The doctor will check for low blood level of antithrombin III. There are different methods for checking this level.

Treatment

A blood clot is treated with blood thinning medications (also called anticoagulants). How long you need to take these medications depends on how serious the blood clot was and other factors. Discuss this with your health care provider.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most patients have a good outcome if they stay on anticoagulant medications.

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

See your health care provider if you have symptoms of this condition.

Prevention

References

Anderson JA, Weitz JI. Hypercoagulable states. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 142.

Schafer A. Thrombotic disorders: Hypercoagulable states. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 179.


Review Date: 3/3/2013
Reviewed By: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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