The original activated partial thromboplastin time-based assay for activated protein C (APC)-resistant factor Va (FVa) requires carefully prepared fresh plasma and cannot be used in patients receiving warfarin or in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies. A new test is described here that circumvents these limitations and distinguishes without overlap heterozygotes for APC-resistant FVa from persons with normal FV. A diluted test plasma is incubated with an FV-deficient substrate plasma and tissue factor and then clotted with Ca2+ or Ca2+ plus APC. Test results are independent of the FV level or the dilution of the test plasma used. Of 39 controls, 37 gave normal results. Two controls (5%) gave results indicative of APC resistant FVa and on DNA analysis were found to be heterozygous for FV R506Q. Twenty of 21 randomly selected patients receiving warfarin gave normal results. In the single patient with abnormal results, heterozygous FV R506Q was confirmed by DNA analysis. Two of 15 patients with protein S deficiency and 5 of 29 patients with a lupus anticoagulant had abnormal results. APC resistance caused by FV R506Q was confirmed in the five of these seven patients available for DNA analysis. APC-resistant FVa was also detected in 10 of 21 (46%) stored plasma from unrelated patients with venous thrombosis and negative earlier evaluation for a lupus anticoagulant or a deficiency of protein C, protein S, or antithrombin, which confirms a high incidence of this defect among patients with venous thrombosis.

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