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Value of Genetic Testing for Preventing Blood Clots Unproven, According to New AHRQ Study
Date:6/16/2009

210A. This report, titled Outcomes of Genetic Testing in Adults with a History of Venous Thromboembolism, is the fifth evidence report requested for EGAPP.

The authors, who were led by Jodi Segal, M.D., of the AHRQ-supported Johns Hopkins Evidence-based Practice Center in Baltimore, failed to find any studies that directly addressed the effect of genetic testing on patient outcomes, but they found research indicating that keeping patients who have a genetic tendency to develop blood clots on blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin reduces the chance of a future clot. This benefit appears to be similar to that seen in patients who do not have the genetic tendency to develop blood clots but who have a history of clots.

The authors also reviewed the evidence for the accuracy of the testing methods used to identify the FVL and prothrombin G20210A mutations, which can signal continued risk of blood clots. The evidence shows that tests for identifying the mutations have excellent analytic validity and that nearly all laboratories report accurate results.

The authors called for randomized trials with sufficiently large sample sizes and long-term follow-up, as well as other research to determine whether changing provider practice based on genetic test results improves patient outcomes.

Once the embargo lifts on June 16 at 4:00 p.m. EDT, AHRQ's evidence report will be available at http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/factorvleiden/fvl.pdf. For more AHRQ information on deep-vein thrombosis, see Preventing Hospital-Acquired Venous Thromboembolism: A Guide for Effective Quality Improvement, and Your Guide to Preventing and Treating Blood Clots, available in both English and Spanish. Free, single copies of all AHRQ publications are available by calling the AHRQ Publicati
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SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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