In most patients with thrombosis, trigger factors will be identified in the history. APL is a relatively common acquired thrombophilic defect detected by lupus anticoagulant activity or elevated anticardiolipin titres. 395 Should be considered in patients with VTE and young patient with arterial thrombosis or those without evidence of atherosclerosis. Testing for inherited thrombophilia is complex, more expensive and only worthwhile in familial thrombosis. A strong family history of VTE will increase the chance of identifying such defects.

British Committee for Standards in Haematology (2001) Investigation and management of heritable thrombophilia. Br J Haematol 114, 512-528. ^

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