The mysterious blood clot that two weeks ago threatened the life of World Cup champion skier Kikkan Randall of Anchorage may be hereditary, doctors reported.
Tests of Randall's DNA -- a precautionary step while being treated for a large clot in a major vein in her left leg -- indicate the 25-year-old Olympic athlete has Factor V Leiden, or FVL, a genetic disorder that increases the risk of dangerous clotting in the blood system.
While the condition is not rare -- 5 percent of white Americans carry at least one of the defective genes -- it is serious, placing people with the most common form of FVL at seven times the risk for developing a life-threatening clot known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.
Randall underwent surgery for DVT in Anchorage last week to remove the residue of a clot before it could break loose and float to her lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism, a sometimes fatal blockage. Women with FVL also run a higher risk of clotting during pregnancy and miscarriage.
See the entire article in the Anvhorage Daily News at http://www.adn.com/outdoors/skiing/story/372495.html.