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Factor VII deficiency

  • Definition

    Factor VII deficiency is an inherited disorder in which a lack (deficiency) of plasma protein factor VII leads to abnormal bleeding.


    Alternative Names

    Extrinsic factor 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 VII, an important blood clotting protein. Most often a deficiency of factor VII 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)

    It is very rare to be born with factor VII deficiency that is due to the body's inability to make working factor VII.