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N Engl J Med. 1992 Oct 15;327(16):1128-33.

Deep-vein thrombosis and the incidence of subsequent symptomatic cancer.

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1
Second Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Padua, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In contrast to the established relation between overt cancer and subsequent venous thromboembolism, it is unclear whether symptomatic deep-vein thrombosis is associated with a risk of subsequent overt malignant disease.

METHODS:

Two hundred sixty consecutive patients with symptomatic, venographically proved deep-vein thrombosis were enrolled in a study, of whom 250 were followed during a two-year period. Among those assessed during follow-up, the incidence of subsequently detected cancer in the 105 patients with secondary venous thrombosis (i.e., thrombosis associated with a well-recognized risk factor other than cancer) was compared with the incidence of cancer in the 145 patients with idiopathic venous thrombosis.

RESULTS:

Routine examination at the time of diagnosis of the venous thrombosis revealed cancer in 5 of the 153 enrolled patients with idiopathic venous thrombosis (3.3 percent) and in none of the 107 enrolled patients with secondary venous thrombosis. During follow-up, overt cancer developed in 2 of the 105 patients with secondary venous thrombosis (1.9 percent) and in 11 of the 145 patients with idiopathic venous thrombosis (7.6 percent; odds ratio, 2.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 5.2; P = 0.043). Of the 145 patients with idiopathic venous thrombosis, 35 had confirmed recurrent thromboembolism. Overt cancer subsequently developed in 6 of the 35 (17.1 percent). The incidence of cancer in the patients with recurrent idiopathic venous thrombosis was higher than that in the patients with secondary venous thrombosis (P = 0.008; odds ratio, 9.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.8 to 52.2) or in the patients with idiopathic venous thrombosis that did not recur (P = 0.024; odds ratio, 4.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 15.3).

CONCLUSIONS:

There is a statistically significant and clinically important association between idiopathic venous thrombosis and the subsequent development of clinically overt cancer, especially among patients in whom venous thromboembolism recurs during follow-up.

Comment in

PMID:
1528208
DOI:
10.1056/NEJM199210153271604
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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