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Circulation. 2004 Aug 31;110(9 Suppl 1):I27-34.

Invasive approaches to treatment of venous thromboembolism.

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  • 1Department of Vascular Surgery, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Abstract

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs in one-quarter of a million individuals annually in the United States and results in significant disability from pulmonary embolism and chronic venous insufficiency, especially when the proximal iliofemoral is involved. Treatment has centered on early institution of adequate anticoagulation to prevent thrombus propagation and embolism, but anticoagulation alone does not always restore venous patency and many patients are left with venous outflow obstruction and valvular incompetence-the anatomic underpinnings of the postthrombotic syndrome. Various strategies have been used to restore patency of thrombosed veins, including open surgical thrombectomy, pharmacological thrombolysis, and percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy. Each modality has benefits and shortcomings. Surgical thrombectomy had previously been abandoned secondary to poor long-term results. More recently, with improved techniques and better patient selection, surgical thrombectomy has regained a therapeutic role in treating acute DVT in young patients with short segment occlusions. The advent of percutaneous techniques has allowed thrombolysis, percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy, and stenting to be used in conjunction with each other-allowing for better resolution of venous clot burden than when an individual modality is used alone. Practitioners who treat patients with DVT should be familiar with all the options available to restore venous patency, preserve valvular function, and thereby minimize the risk of late postthrombotic complications.

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