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Cardiol Rev. 2002 Jul-Aug;10(4):249-59.

Treatment of venous thromboembolism.

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1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA.

Abstract

Venous thromboembolism (VTE), comprised of pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is a disease entity with a significant morbidity and mortality. Anticoagulation, initially with intravenous heparin and followed with long term warfarin treatment is the traditional therapy for VTE. Low molecular weight heparin, (LMWH) has a greater bioavailability than unfractionated heparin and can be administered subcutaneously. LMWH has resulted in shorter hospitalizations, reduced inicidents of major bleeding complications, and has moved the treatment of VTE for selected patients to the out-patient setting. Thrombolytic therapy has been recommended in patients with life threatening PE such as those with right ventricular dysfunction or hypotension. There are advances in the technology for clot removal with catheter embolectomy and clot fragmentation. Inferior vena cava filters can be place percutaneously in patients who are at high risk for VTE or those in whom anticoagulation is contraindicated. Since VTE is often asymptomatic, prevention is the most effective means to reduce morbidity and mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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