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J Intern Med. 1996 Feb;239(2):153-6.

The incidence of occult cancer in patients with deep venous thrombosis: a prospective study.

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1
First Department of Surgery, University of Athens Medical School, Greece.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was undertaken to assess a potential relationship between idiopathic deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and occult cancer.

DESIGN:

Prospective study with a 2-year follow-up.

SETTING:

The Angiology Unit of the First Department of Surgery, University of Athens, Greece, a tertiary referral centre.

SUBJECTS:

Two hundred and ninety-three patients with a first episode of venographically or Doppler-proved DVT were included in the study, of whom 264 were followed up for 2 years.

INTERVENTIONS:

After an initial extensive diagnostic workup, including routine blood counts and chemistries, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, CEA levels, chest X-ray and abdominopelvic CT scan, all patients were closely followed up and periodically examined.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The incidence of cancer amongst patients with idiopathic and secondary DVT, and the validity of our screening programme.

RESULTS:

Cancer was diagnosed in 21 out of 84 patients with idiopathic DVT (25%) as compared with eight out of 202 patients with secondary DVT (4%). In 22 out of the 29 cases, cancer was detected during the initial admission, and the remaining seven cases were detected during follow-up. Cancer was diagnosed in 15 asymptomatic, healthy individuals, but only in seven of them was the diagnosis made by CT scan.

CONCLUSION:

Occult cancer is fairly common in patients with idiopathic DVT, but the routine use of extensive diagnostic studies for its detection remains to be validated by further prospective studies.

PMID:
8568483
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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