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Thromb Res. 2008;123(1):24-34. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2008.05.005. Epub 2008 Jul 11.

Has the incidence of deep vein thrombosis in patients undergoing total hip/knee arthroplasty changed over time? A systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, McMaster University and St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, ON, Canada.



There is a perception in the orthopaedic and thromboembolism community that the incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) has decreased in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or total hip arthroplasty (THA).


To assess the incidence of DVT with warfarin thromboprophylaxis over time in patients undergoing elective TKA or THA.


The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases were searched to October 2006, supplemented by a manual search of reference lists. Two reviewers independently extracted data on study characteristics, quality and the frequency of total, symptomatic and proximal DVT.


Fourteen studies (4,423 patients) were included. Total and proximal DVT after TKA declined over time (r=-0.75, p=0.031; r=-0.86, p=0.007 respectively). Total and proximal DVT after THA did not change. The risk of developing DVT after TKA was significantly higher than after THA (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.6-2.14; p<0.0001). The risk of developing symptomatic DVT after THA was significantly higher than after TKA (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.11-4.27; p=0.012).


The incidence of DVT in patients undergoing elective TKA appears to have declined in patients receiving warfarin thromboprophylaxis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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