Clinical significance of distal deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is important as it can potentially result in pulmonary embolism (PE), DVT extension, DVT recurrence and post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). Controversy remains about the necessity and modalities of anticoagulation in all distal DVT. Evaluation of the efficiency of a 40-day weight-based low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) treatment in a cohort of 119 consecutive patients with distal DVT. Compression ultrasonography of the lower limb was performed initially for diagnosis as well as at the end of the treatment to identify persistence or resolution of the blood clot. A 3-month follow-up estimated the rates of PE, DVT recurrence, DVT extension, PTS and bleeding. Risk factors for DVT were considered to evaluate a possible correlation between them and the outcomes. In 71.4% of the patients the blood clot was totally dissolved and thrombus persistence was statistically associated with the number of initially involved veins. DVT recurrence occurred in 5% of patients and was also associated with the number of initial clotted veins. DVT extension and PTS rates were present in 1.7% and 3.4% respectively and no patient was diagnosed with PE or bleeding. This retrospective study including a limited number of patients and no control group supports that a 40-day weight-based LMWH treatment after distal DVT seems to be efficient when one single vein is initially affected whereas for multiple vein distal DVT and to avoid potential DVT recurrence, longer than 6 weeks of anticoagulant treatment is required. Our results support safety of the treatment, its potential to prevent DVT extension and the occurrence of PE.
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