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Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2014 Mar;20(2):169-78. doi: 10.1177/1076029612461846. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Venous thromboembolism in cirrhosis.

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1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


The cirrhosis population represents a unique subset of patients who are at risk for both bleeding and developing venous thromboembolic events (VTEs). It has been commonly misunderstood that these patients are naturally protected from thrombosis by deficiencies in coagulation factors. As a result, the cirrhosis population is often falsely perceived to be "autoanticoagulated." However, the concept of "autoanticoagulation" conferring protection from thrombosis is a misnomer. While patients with cirrhosis may have a bleeding predisposition, not uncommonly they also experience thrombotic events. The concern for this increased bleeding risk often makes anticoagulation a difficult choice. Prophylactic and therapeutic management of VTE in patients with cirrhosis is a difficult clinical problem with the lack of clear established guidelines. The elucidation of laboratory and/or clinical predictors of VTE will be useful in this setting. This review serves to examine VTE and the use of anticoagulation in the cirrhosis population.


anticoagulation; cirrhosis; coagulopathy; venous thromboembolism

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