Bleeding in carriers of hemophilia

Leiden University, Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 08/2006; 108(1):52-6. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2005-09-3879
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A wide range of factor VIII and IX levels is observed in heterozygous carriers of hemophilia as well as in noncarriers. In female carriers, extreme lyonization may lead to low clotting factor levels. We studied the effect of heterozygous hemophilia carriership on the occurrence of bleeding symptoms. A postal survey was performed among most of the women who were tested for carriership of hemophilia in the Netherlands before 2001. The questionnaire included items on personal characteristics, characteristics of hemophilia in the affected family members, and carrier testing and history of bleeding problems such as bleeding after tooth extraction, bleeding after tonsillectomy, and other operations. Information on clotting factor levels was obtained from the hospital charts. Logistic regression was used to assess the relation of carrier status and clotting factor levels with the occurrence of hemorrhagic events. In 2004, 766 questionnaires were sent, and 546 women responded (80%). Of these, 274 were carriers of hemophilia A or B. The median clotting factor level of carriers was 0.60 IU/mL (range, 0.05-2.19 IU/mL) compared with 1.02 IU/mL (range, 0.45-3.28 IU/mL) in noncarriers. Clotting factor levels from 0.60 to 0.05 IU/mL were increasingly associated with prolonged bleeding from small wounds and prolonged bleeding after tooth extraction, tonsillectomy, and operations. Carriers of hemophilia bleed more than other women, especially after medical interventions. Our findings suggest that not only clotting factor levels at the extreme of the distribution, resembling mild hemophilia, but also mildly reduced clotting factor levels between 0.41 and 0.60 IU/mL are associated with bleeding.

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