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Vasc Endovascular Surg. 2016 Jul;50(5):328-34. doi: 10.1177/1538574416652242. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Compression Stockings for Prevention of Postthrombotic Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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General Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
General Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China



The present meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of compression stockings for postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) prevention in patients with deep venous thrombosis (DVT).


Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) regarding the use of compression stockings for prevention of PTS were identified from the Medline, PubMed, and Embase databases as well as the Cochrane library. The resulting manuscripts were analyzed according to the criteria in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.


Six RCTs involving 1465 patients with DVT were included. The meta-analysis indicated no statistical differences between the compression stocking and the control groups in PTS incidence, using either the Villalta scale (odds ratio [OR], 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23-1.74) or the Ginsberg scale (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.72-1.77). Based on the Villalta scale categorization, there were no differences in the incidence of mild-moderate PTS (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.36-1.41) or incidence of severe PTS (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.15-3.11). The difference in the recurrence of venous thromboembolism (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.61-1.30) was also not significant. In the 3 RCTs that reported side effects of compression stockings, they were primarily related to discomfort, including itching, erythema, and rash.


The present meta-analysis has indicated that compression stockings may not prevent PTS, as determined by either the Villalta or the Ginsberg scale, in patients with DVT. However, owing to the limited number of trials, the evidence is not strong enough to draw a reliable conclusion. Further larger, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trials are needed.


compression stockings; meta-analysis; postthrombotic syndrome

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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