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J Thromb Haemost. 2005 Dec;3(12):2671-6.

The post-thrombotic syndrome: risk factors and impact on the course of thrombotic disease.

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1
Division of Hematology and Hemostasis, Department of Internal Medicine I, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) is a frequent complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Patients with recurrent ipsilateral DVT have an increased risk of PTS; other risk factors are unknown.

OBJECTIVES:

To establish risk factors of PTS and its impact on venous thrombotic disease.

PATIENTS:

We prospectively followed 406 patients after a first symptomatic DVT for a median of 60 months. Patients with recurrent DVT, a natural inhibitor deficiency, the lupus anticoagulant, cancer, long-term anticoagulation, an observation time < 18 months and DVT-recurrence prior PTS-assessment were excluded. Study outcomes were occurrence of PTS and recurrent symptomatic DVT.

RESULTS:

PTS was assessed after 44 +/- 23 months (mean +/- SD) using a clinical classification score. PTS developed in 176 of 406 patients (43.3%). Severe PTS was rare (1.4%). Proximal DVT was the strongest risk factor of PTS [odds ratio (OR) 2.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-3.7]. Male gender (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.0-2.8) and elevated D-dimer levels (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.0-3.9) were weaker risk factors. Factor V Leiden, factor II G20210A or high factor VIII did not confer an increased risk of PTS. At 4 years, the cumulative probability of recurrence was 7.4% (95% CI 3.2-11.7) among patients with PTS when compared with 1.6% (95% CI 0-3.5; P < 0.02) among patients without PTS. The risk of recurrence was 2.6-fold (95% CI 1.2-5.9) increased when PTS was present.

CONCLUSIONS:

Proximal DVT, male gender, and high D-dimer levels are independently associated with the development of PTS in patients with a first DVT. Patients with PTS have an increased risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism.

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