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Lancet. 1999 Feb 6;353(9151):479-85.

Deep-vein thrombosis.

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Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Deep-vein thrombosis is an important complication of several inherited and acquired disorders, but may also occur spontaneously. Prevention of recurrent venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism is the main reason for accurate diagnosis and adequate treatment. This seminar discusses only symptomatic deep-vein thrombosis. The diagnosis can be confirmed by objective tests in only about 30% of patients with symptoms. Venous thromboembolic complications happen in less than 1% of untreated patients in whom the presence of venous thrombosis is rejected on the basis of serial ultrasonography or ultrasonography plus either D-dimer or clinical score. Initial anticoagulant treatment (intravenous or subcutaneous heparin) should continue until oral anticoagulant treatment, started concurrently, increases the international normalised ratio above 2.0 for more than 24 h. The optimum duration of oral anticoagulant treatment is unresolved, but may be guided by the presence of temporary or persistent risk factors or presentation with recurrent venous thromboembolism.

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