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Factor II deficiency

  • Definition

    Factor II deficiency is a blood clotting (coagulation) problem that occurs when there is a lack of a substance (prothrombin) that is needed for blood to clot.

    Alternative Names

    Hypoprothrombinemia; Prothrombin deficiency

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    When you bleed, the body launches a series of reactions that help the blood clot. This is called the coagulation cascade. The process involves special proteins called coagulation or clotting factors. When one or more of these clotting factors are missing, there is usually a higher chance of bleeding.

    This disorder occurs when the body does not have enough factor II, an important blood clotting protein. Factor II deficiency that runs in families (inherited) is very rare. Both parents must be carriers to pass it to their children. A family history of a bleeding disorder is a potential risk factor.

    Most commonly, factor II deficiency is caused by:

    • Lack of vitamin K due to long-term use of antibiotics, bile duct obstruction, or poor absorption of vitamin K from the intestines. Some babies are born with vitamin K deficiency.
    • Severe liver disease
    • Use of drugs that prevent clotting (anticoagulants such as warfarin or Coumadin)