BloodCenter of Wisconsin today announced the availability of a new DNA test to evaluate a person’s risk for developing a serious and potentially life-threatening thrombosis (blood clot). 

Antithrombin Cambridge II mutation analysis determines whether a patient has a normal or abnormal form of a gene for a substance in the blood that regulates the blood’s normal ability to clot. BloodCenter is believed to be the first organization in the world to offer this test.

The addition of the Antithrombin Cambridge II assay enhances BloodCenter’s test menu for evaluation of patients with clotting disorders.  By adding this test, BloodCenter scientists can offer a better understanding of thrombosis to the clinical community.  For patients, this test provides more information about their personal predisposition to thrombosis.

For example, a woman who may be considering an oral contraceptive, known to increase the risk of blood clots, might benefit from knowing if she has a higher-than-average risk of a thrombotic event.  This also is useful for family members of cardiovascular disease patients, since relatives often are unaware of their own risk of experiencing a dangerous blood clot.

Life-threatening thrombotic events, such as myocardial infarction, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism, are examples of cardiovascular disease.  According to the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, more than 870,000 people in the U.S. die from cardiovascular disease every year.

“As physicians start using the Antithrombin Cambridge II assay, the medical community will aggregate data about patients with the abnormal genotype, leading to a better understanding of the effects of the abnormal genotype,” said  Kenneth Friedman, M.D. BloodCenter associate medical director and director of its Hemostasis Laboratory. 

“Over time, we will be able to correlate the connection between the genetic mutation and a variety of thrombotic events. Eventually, these DNA-based tests will help explain the interplay of many different genes to get a much more complete ability to predict a catastrophic thrombotic event.”

Source: BloodCenter of Wisconsin