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Factor V deficiency is also known as Owren’s disease or parahemophilia. It’s a rare bleeding disorder that results in poor clotting after an injury or surgery. Factor V deficiency shouldn’t be confused with factor V Leiden mutation, a much more common condition that causes excessive blood clotting.
Factor V, or proaccelerin, is a protein made in your liver that helps convert prothrombin into thrombin. This is an important step in the blood clotting process. If you don’t have enough factor V or if it doesn’t work properly, your blood may not clot effectively enough to stop you from bleeding. There are different levels of severity of factor V deficiency based on how little or how much factor V is available to the body.
Factor V deficiency may also occur at the same time as factor VIII deficiency, producing more severe bleeding problems. The combination of factor V and factor VIII deficiencies is considered to be a separate disorder.
Factor V is one of about 13 clotting factors responsible for normal blood coagulation, or clotting. Blood clotting occurs in stages:
Secondary hemostasis doesn’t occur properly if you have factor V deficiency. This results in prolonged bleeding.
Factor V deficiency may be inherited or acquired after birth.
Hereditary factor V deficiency is rare. It’s caused by a recessive gene, which means that you have to inherit the gene from both of your parents in order to show symptoms. This form occurs in about 1 in 1 million people.
Acquired factor V deficiency may be caused by certain medications, underlying medical conditions, or an autoimmune reaction.
Conditions that might affect factor V include:
The symptoms of factor V deficiency vary depending on the amount of factor V available to the body. The levels necessary to cause symptoms depend upon the individual. A certain level that may cause bleeding in one person may not clause bleeding in another person.
In cases of severe factor V deficiency, the symptoms often include:
Many people who have this condition received their diagnosis when doctors ran blood coagulation tests before surgery. Common lab tests for factor V include the following:
Your doctor will likely order other tests to identify any underlying conditions resulting in factor V deficiency.
Factor V deficiency is treated with infusions of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and blood platelets. These infusions are typically needed only after surgery or a bleeding episode.
Factor V deficiency is relatively manageable compared to other bleeding disorders. Many people can tolerate low levels of factor V without symptoms. People who have this condition often need treatment only after surgery or a very serious injury. These people usually have normal lives and only bleed a little bit longer than people who have blood that coagulates normally.
Written by: Janet Barwellon: Jul 21, 2017
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