Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Protein C deficiency resulting from possible double heterozygosity and its response to danazol

  1. RA Gruppo,
  2. P Leimer,
  3. RB Francis,
  4. RA Marlar, and
  5. E Silberstein
  1. Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229.

Abstract

A unique family with protein C (PC) deficiency is described. The proband had a history of renal vein thrombosis as a newborn and iliofemoral thrombosis at the age of 6 years. After 6 months of heparin treatment, discontinuation of anticoagulation therapy was accompanied by persistent hypofibrinogenemia with increased fibrinogen consumption. With continuous infusion of heparin, fibrinogen turnover normalized, and the child has remained free of thrombosis. Both the immunologic level of PC and the functional activity measured by amidolytic assay were moderately reduced (47% and 34%, respectively). Functional activity of PC measured by its anticoagulant activity was disproportionately lower (14%). A 3-year-old asymptomatic sibling had a similar disproportionate reduction of PC anticoagulant activity compared with the amidolytic activity or immunologic level. The mother demonstrated type I PC deficiency with a proportionate reduction in immunologic protein levels (59%), anticoagulant activity (52%), and amidolytic activity (46%), whereas the father had type II PC deficiency with normal immunologic protein levels (102%), normal amidolytic function (98%), but a low anticoagulant function (50%). An abnormal PC molecule was detected by two-dimensional immunoelectrophoresis in the father and two children. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the children are doubly heterozygous for two different types of PC deficiency inherited from each of the parents. A 14-day trial of danazol in the proband resulted in a rise in the PC antigen concentration from 66% to 98% but no change in PC anticoagulant function.