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Gynecol Oncol. 2005 Oct;99(1):119-25.

Ovarian cancer and venous thromboembolic risk.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Piazzale Golgi, 27100 Pavia, Italy.



To determine the incidence and the prognostic factors of objectively diagnosed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients with epithelial ovarian malignancy.


We reviewed the records of all patients with epithelial ovarian cancer who were diagnosed, treated, and followed-up at our institution between 1990 and 2001. Data were collected regarding age, body mass index, previous DVT and PE, menopause status, FIGO stage, grade, histology, type of surgery, residual disease, first line chemotherapy, and relapse status.


Of the 253 cases, the overall incidence of symptomatic venous thromboembolic events (VTE) was 16.6% (42 patients): 1.6% (4) with PE and 15% (38) with DVT. 8 events (3.2%) were detected before tumor diagnosis, 6 (2.4%) in the postoperative period, 16 (6.4%) during first line chemotherapy and 12 (4.8%) throughout the follow-up period. Risk factors associated with occurrence of VTE were: at diagnosis, history of deep vein thrombosis (P = 0.001); during chemotherapy, older age (P = 0.017), larger body mass index (P = 0.019), FIGO stage 2c-4 (P = 0.004), no surgery (P = 0.003), and presence of residual tumor (P = 0.026). None of the considered risk factors were found to be predictors of VTE postoperatively. The multivariate regression analysis found that residual tumor, age, and body mass index were independent prognostic factors.


The incidence of VTE throughout the entire history of ovarian malignancy is high. Prognostic factors could be used to establish prophylaxis protocols based on risk stratification.

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