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acquired hypercoagulable states

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Secondary hypercoagulable states are acquired during life, usually in an individual who is unwell or immobile.

The common causes of a secondary hypercoagulable state fall into three main categories:

  • venous stasis caused by:
    • immobility
    • obesity
    • congestive cardiac failure
    • posteroperative bedrest

  • coagulation factor activation caused by:
    • malignant disease
    • pregnancy
    • oestrogen and oral contraceptive use
    • nephrotic syndrome
    • antiphospholipid syndrome

  • platelet activation caused by:
    • myeloproliferative disorders
    • thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

Commonly an acute thrombotic episode results in an individual who acquires a hypercoagulable state on the background of a primary hypercoagulability.


  • Schafer, AI. (1994). Hypercoagulable states: molecular genetics to clinical practice. Lancet, 344, 1739-42.


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