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Statement on New ASH Clinical Practice Guidelines on Thrombophilia

(WASHINGTON, May 17, 2023) — Today, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) released new clinical practice guidelines on Management of Venous Thromboembolism: Thrombophilia Testing. The guidelines provide recommendations informed by case-based approaches and modeling to ensure the medical community can better diagnose and treat thrombophilia and people with the condition can make the best decisions for their care.

The thrombophilia guidelines, published in ASH’s peer-reviewed journal Blood Advances, are the latest in a series of guidelines the Society has developed on venous thromboembolism (VTE). VTE includes deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that typically forms in the deep veins of the leg, and pulmonary embolism (PE), a life-threatening condition that occurs when a blood clot breaks free and becomes lodged in the arteries of the lung. VTE is common and can affect anyone.

Thrombophilia is a condition characterized as a tendency to form blood clots, and it affects an estimated 10% of the population. Testing for thrombophilia can be costly, and whether testing helps in guiding treatment decisions is controversial.

"For decades there has been dispute about thrombophilia testing. We created a model about whether and when it would be useful to test for thrombophilia, and based on the model, we suggest it can be appropriate in several specific situations. For instance, individuals with VTE provoked by non-surgical risk factors such as pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives, individuals with a family history of VTE and high-risk thrombophilia, and individuals with VTE at unusual sites within the body. In all other instances, we suggest not testing for thrombophilia," said Saskia Middeldorp, MD, PhD, Co-Chair, ASH Guidelines on Thrombophilia Testing, and Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Internal Medicine of the Radboud university medical center. "These guidelines will potentially change practice – we know that providers and patients will make a shared treatment decision and we wanted to outline specific scenarios to guide that decision."

Visit www.hematology.org/VTEguidelines for more information about the ASH Guidelines on VTE, and to access additional resources.

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 60 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH’s flagship journal, Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), is the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, and Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org) is an open-access, online journal that publishes more peer-reviewed hematology research than any other academic journal worldwide.

Kira Sampson, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-499-1796