Most people who have factor V Leiden never develop signs or symptoms. However, the first indication that you have the disorder may be the development of a blood clot (thrombosis).
Some clots do no damage and disappear on their own. Others can be life-threatening. Symptoms of a blood clot depend on where it forms and whether and where it travels.
A clot developing in a deep vein
This is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT may not cause any symptoms. If signs and symptoms do occur, they commonly affect your legs, including your ankles and feet, and may include:
- Significant swelling
A clot that forms closer to the surface of your skin
This is referred to as superficial venous thrombosis, phlebitis or thrombophlebitis. Signs and symptoms usually include:
- Tenderness or pain, often in or around the vein with the blood clot
A clot that travels to your lungs
Known as a pulmonary embolism, this occurs when a deep vein clot breaks free and travels through the right side of your heart to your lung, where it blocks blood flow. Symptoms may include:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pain when breathing in
- A cough that produces bloody or blood-streaked sputum
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
When to see a doctor
Seek medical attention immediately if you:
- Have signs or symptoms of a pulmonary embolism, such as chest pain or discomfort.
- Have signs or symptoms of DVT, such as leg pain and swelling.
See a doctor if you:
Sep. 06, 2012
- Have a family history of blood clots or if family members have factor V Leiden. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of genetic testing for the disorder.
- Have had one or more blood-clotting incidents without an apparent cause, especially if you're under 50.
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- Deep vein thrombosis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/cardiovascular_disorders/peripheral_venous_disorders/deep_venous_thrombosis_dvt.html. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Pulmonary embolism. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pulmonary_disorders/pulmonary_embolism/pulmonary_embolism.html. Accessed July 3, 2012.
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- Xarelto [prescribing information]. Titusville, N.J.: Janssen Pharmaceuticals; 2011. http://www.xareltohcp.com/sites/default/files/pdf/xarelto_0.pdf#zoom=100. Accessed July 5, 2012.
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