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Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2004 Oct;10(4):373-7.

Prevention of venous thrombosis and thrombophlebitis in long-haul flights with pycnogenol.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Irvine2 Vascular Lab, G D'Annunzio University and San Valentino Vascular Screening Project (Pe), Faculty of Motory Sciences, L'Aquila University, Italy.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) and its prophylaxis with an oral anti-edema and antithrombotic agent (Pycnogenol, Horphag, Research Management SA, Geneva, Switzerland) in long-haul flights, in subjects at moderate to high-risk of DVT and SVT. The study pre-included 244 pre-selected subjects; 211 were included (33 were excluded for several reasons due to logistic problems) and 198 completed the study; 13 subjects were lost for follow-up at the end of the flight, all for non-medical problems (i.e., for difficult connections). All subjects were scanned within 90 minutes before the flight and within 2 hours after disembarking. Subjects were supplemented with 100 mg Pycnogenol per capsule. Treatment subjects received two capsules between 2 and 3 hours before flights with 250 mL of water; two capsules were taken 6 hours later with 250 mL of water and one capsule the next day. The control group received comparable placebo at the same intervals. The flight duration was on average 8 hours and 15 minutes (SD 55 min) (range, 7.45-12.33). In the control group there were five thrombotic events (one DVT and four superficial thromboses) while only nonthrombotic, localized phlebitis was observed in the Pycnogenol group (5.15% vs. no events; p<0.025). The ITT (intention to treat) analysis detects 13 failures in the control group (eight lost to follow up + five thrombotic events) of 105 subjects (12.4%) vs. five failures (4.7%; all lost, no thrombotic events) in the treatment group (p<0.025). No unwanted effects were observed. In conclusion, this study indicates that Pycnogenol treatment was effective in decreasing the number of thrombotic events (DVT and SVT) in moderate-to-high risk subjects, during long-haul flights.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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