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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1991 Aug;(269):89-97.

Intermittent pneumatic compression versus coumadin. Prevention of deep vein thrombosis in lower-extremity total joint arthroplasty.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, State University of New York, Buffalo School of Medicine 14215.


One hundred forty-nine consecutive patients requiring lower extremity total joint arthroplasty were randomized to either coumadin (52 patients) or intermittent pneumatic compression (48 patients) as prophylaxis against deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Forty-nine patients were excluded. When fully ambulatory, the presence or absence of DVT was diagnosed by ascending venography (90% of patients), nuclear venography, venous dopplers, or impedence plethysmography. The two groups were similar in average age (64 years), indication for arthroplasty (pain because of arthritis in 90%), gender (98% male), and average number of risk factors (2.4). Twenty-five percent of patients on coumadin and 25% of patients on intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) developed DVT. IPC was more effective than coumadin following primary total hip arthroplasties (THAs) (16% versus 24% incidence DVT); coumadin was more effective than IPC following primary total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) (19% versus 32% incidence of DVT). DVT developed in 36% of patients following revision arthroplasty. Seventy-five percent of all thrombi were proximal. Both IPC and coumadin were found to be safe; there was no increased perioperative bleeding in the coumadin group. Of three postoperative deaths, one was possibly due to pulmonary embolism (PE).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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