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J Thromb Haemost. 2009 Apr;7(4):582-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2009.03286.x. Epub 2009 Jan 19.

Inflammation in deep vein thrombosis and the development of post-thrombotic syndrome: a prospective study.

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Department of General Internal Medicine, Radbound University Nijmegen Medical Centre, and Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



The aim of this study was to investigate whether inflammatory markers (interleukin-6 [IL-6] and C-reactive protein [CRP]) in the acute phase of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are associated with elevated venous outflow resistance (VOR), thrombosis score (TS), reflux and the development of clinical post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS).


In 110 patients with a first DVT, plasma concentrations of IL-6 and CRP were determined on the day of admission. VOR, TS and reflux were measured 7 days, 1 and 3 months after diagnosis. After 1 year patients were evaluated for PTS using the Clinical, Etiologic, Anatomic and Pathophysiologic (CEAP) classification and Villalta scale.


Median levels of IL-6 and CRP were 7 pg mL(-1) and 21 mg L(-1), respectively. After 3 months, VOR was elevated in 33 patients (30%), TS in 33 (30%) and reflux in 57 (52%). Incidence of PTS was 36.7% using CEAP>or=3 and 35.4% using Villalta-scale>or=5. Elevated levels of IL-6 and CRP were related to higher outcomes of VOR after 3 months [relative risks (RR) 2.4 (95% CI 1.5-3.9) and 1.4 (1.1-3.3), respectively] and for IL-6 to TS [1.5 (1.1-2.1)]. For reflux no relation was found. After 90 days, elevated outcomes of VOR, TS and reflux were related to PTS after 1 year. The association of IL-6 and CRP with PTS was weak using the CEAP classification with a RR of 1.2 (0.7-2.2) and 1.8 (0.9-3.3) and absent according to the Villalta scale 0.6 (0.2-1.4) and 1.2 (0.6-2.5), respectively.


The results of this study suggest that inflammation might play a role in incomplete thrombus clearance, venous outflow obstruction and the development of PTS after 1 year.

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