Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

James L. Zehnder, M.D.

Publication Details

  • Sensitivity and specificity of the APC resistance assay in detection of individuals with factor V Leiden AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PATHOLOGY Zehnder, J. L., Benson, R. C. 1996; 106 (1): 107-111


    Resistance to activated protein C (APC) is the most common cause of familial thrombophilia. The partial thromboplastin time (PTT)-based test for resistance to APC has been widely employed as a screening test for this disorder. However, the utility of this test for screening is not well characterized. More than 90% of patients with resistance to APC have the G1691A mutation in factor V (factor V Leiden). The authors studied the ability of a commercial APC resistance assay to correctly identify the factor V Leiden genotype in 130 individuals. At the recommended assay cut-off value of 2, the sensitivity of the APC resistance assay was 50%, with a specificity of 98%. Increasing the cut-off value increased the sensitivity but decreased the specificity of the test. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis indicated that the test was of intermediate utility. There was considerable overlap in APC ratios in the range of 2 to 3 between subjects with a normal factor V genotype and heterozygotes for factor V Leiden. The authors conclude that the APC resistance assay in its present form is not a useful screening test for factor V Leiden heterozygotes. Until the performance of this assay is improved, patients should have molecular diagnostic testing performed to determine their factor V Leiden status.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UW50500018

    View details for PubMedID 8701918

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