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Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2001 Oct;12(7):597-9.

Therapy of isolated calf muscle vein thrombosis with low-molecular-weight heparin.

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Division of Vascular Medicine, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany.


There are no data from prospective studies concerning the treatment of isolated calf muscle vein thrombosis (soleal and gastrocnemial muscle veins), found in 20-40% of patients with lower extremity thrombosis of the calf. We investigated the outcome in two cohorts of consecutive patients, the first receiving low-molecular-weight heparin for 10 days at therapeutic doses and compression therapy; the second cohort, compression therapy alone. In patients on therapeutic heparin (n = 52), no progression to deep vein thrombosis occurred [0%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0-6.8%]. Patients without anticoagulation (n = 32) showed a statistically significant higher percentage of progression into the deep calf veins (25%; 95% CI, 11.5-43.4%) as well as recurrent muscle vein thrombosis. No symptomatic pulmonary embolism or bleeding event occurred; one patient died in each group, both related to malignancy. The data suggest a need for short-term anticoagulation in such patients to prevent further thromboembolic complications. Randomized prospective studies are now warranted in a larger study population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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