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Am J Med. 2010 Aug;123(8):735-40. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2010.01.027.

Venous compression for prevention of postthrombotic syndrome: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac, Mich, USA.



To determine the effectiveness of venous compression stockings or compression bandages on the reduction of postthrombotic syndrome in patients with deep venous thrombosis.


We attempted to identify all published trials in all languages identified by PubMed through June 2009. Meta-analysis was performed.


Based on 5 randomized trials of patients with deep venous thrombosis comparing treatment with venous compression to controls, mild-to-moderate postthrombotic syndrome occurred in 64 of 296 (22%) treated with venous compression, compared with 106 of 284 (37%) in controls (relative risk=0.52). Severe postthrombotic syndrome occurred in 14 of 296 (5%) treated, compared with 33 of 284 (12%) controls (relative risk=0.38). Any postthrombotic syndrome occurred in 89 of 338 (26%) treated, compared with 150 of 324 (46%) controls (relative risk=0.54).


Venous compression reduced the incidence of postthrombotic syndrome, particularly severe postthrombotic syndrome. Venous compression in patients with deep venous thrombosis would seem to be indicated for this purpose. There was, however, wide variation in the type of stockings used, time interval from diagnosis to application of stockings, and duration of treatment. Further investigation, therefore, is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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