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Intern Emerg Med. 2010 Jun;5(3):185-92. doi: 10.1007/s11739-009-0336-2. Epub 2009 Dec 10.

The postthrombotic syndrome.

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Thromboembolic Unit, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padua, Via Giustiniani 2, Padua, Italy.


Following deep vein thrombosis (DVT), one of every two patients will develop postthrombotic syndrome (PTS), which causes remarkable consequences on the socioeconomic level. Residual thrombosis is an important predictor of PTS, and severe early symptoms, old age, obesity, improper anticoagulation, recurrent thrombosis and varicose veins are major risk factors. Diagnosis of PTS is mainly based on the clinical findings for patients with a history of DVT, while in those without it, instrumental diagnosis might help in detecting a previous DVT. Prompt administration of adequate compression elastic stockings (ECS) in patients with symptomatic DVT reduces the frequency of PTS by half. Usually, the management of an established PTS is demanding, and often discouraging. However, when carefully supervised and instructed to wear proper ECS, more than 50% of patients either remain quiescent or improve during long-term follow-up.

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