A bleeding diathesis is described which is phenotypically indistinguishable from hemophilia A and which has been transmitted as a dominant trait in three generations of women in a North Carolina kindred. The abnormal phenotype is characterized by clinical mildness and slightly abnormal clotting time, prothrombin consumption, and partial thromboplastin time. Bleeding time, platelet count, clot retraction, tourniquet test, and prothrombin time are normal. Concentration of factors I, II, V, VII, IX, X, and XII are normal, while factor VIII activity is reduced to 2%-5% of control values. De novo synthesis of factor VIII does not occur after transfusion; factor VIII-related antigen is normal; patients'plasmas aggregate platelets normally in the presence of ristocetin, and a typical protein pattern is seen when a chymotryptic digest of cryoprecipitate of the proband is examined by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Six possible genetic explanations are entertained. Balanced X-autosomal translocation of hemophilia A heterozygotes has been excluded by cytogenetic analysis of metaphase chromosomes. Classes von Willebrand's disease (vWd) is probably excluded on the basis of the laboratory data, and extreme lyonization of hemophilia A heterozygotes on probabilistic grounds. The genetic possibilities which cannot be excluded include a previously unrecognized variant mutation at the vWd locus, a dominant mutation at the hemophilia A locus on the X chromosome, and dominant mutation at a hypothetical fourth locus involved in factor VIII synthesis and control.

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