New perspectives for prevention of the post-thrombotic syndrome


Published: 22 March 2022
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While on conventional anticoagulation, up to 50% of patients with one or more episodes of proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can develop post-thrombotic (PTS) manifestations. The potential strategies for PTS prevention are the treatment of acute DVT with catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT), the use of elastic compression stockings (ECS) and that of the direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) in place of vitamin K antagonists (VKA) for the initial and long-term treatment of DVT. Based on the results of three randomized clinical trials, CDT cannot be recommended on a routine basis because of its invasiveness, the associated risk of major bleedings and the uncertainty about its efficacy. According to the results of a placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial, ECS are no longer recommended for PTS prevention on a routine basis. However, based on the results of a recent subanalysis of a prospective cohort study, patients with residual vein thrombosis and/or popliteal valve reflux at three months are likely to benefit from ECS for at least six months. Finally, following the demonstration that the inadequacy of VKA therapy plays a key role in the PTS development, several retrospective and prospective studies have shown that the use of DOACs for the initial and long-term treatment of DVT in place of VKAs reduces the risk of PTS by approximately 50%. In conclusion, the availability of DOACs and the potential of ECS in selected patients with proximal DVT are expected to play a key role for decreasing the rate and the severity of PTS in the forthcoming years.


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Prandoni, P. . (2022). New perspectives for prevention of the post-thrombotic syndrome. Bleeding, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/btvb.2022.20

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