Hervé Decousus, MD; Isabelle Quéré, MD; Emilie Presles, MD; François Becker, MD; Marie-Thérèse Barrellier, MD; Myriam Chanut, MD; Jean-Luc Gillet, MD; Hervé Guenneguez, MD; Christine Leandri, MD; Patrick Mismetti, MD, PhD; Olivier Pichot, MD; Alain Leizorovicz, MD; POST (Prospective Observational Superficial Thrombophlebitis) Study Group
Superficial venous thrombosis (SVT) is perceived to have a benign prognosis.
To assess the prevalence of venous thromboembolism in patients with SVT and to determine the 3-month incidence of thromboembolic complications.
National cross-sectional and prospective epidemiologic cohort study. (ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT00818688)
French office- and hospital-based vascular medicine specialists.
844 consecutive patients with symptomatic SVT of the lower limbs that was at least 5 cm on compression ultrasonography.
Incidence of venous thromboembolism and extension or recurrence of SVT in patients with isolated SVT at presentation.
Among 844 patients with SVT at inclusion (median age, 65 years; 547 women), 210 (24.9%) also had deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or symptomatic pulmonary embolism. Among 600 patients without DVT or pulmonary embolism at inclusion who were eligible for 3-month follow-up, 58 (10.2%) developed thromboembolic complications at 3 months (pulmonary embolism, 3 [0.5%]; DVT, 15 [2.8%]; extension of SVT, 18 [3.3%]; and recurrence of SVT, 10 [1.9%]), despite 540 patients (90.5%) having received anticoagulants. Risk factors for complications at 3 months were male sex, history of DVT or pulmonary embolism, previous cancer, and absence of varicose veins.
The findings are from a specialist referral setting, and the study was terminated before the target patient population was reached because of slow recruitment.
A substantial number of patients with SVT exhibit venous thromboembolism at presentation, and some that do not can develop this complication in the subsequent 3 months.
GlaxoSmithKline, sanofi-aventis, and the Ministère Français de la Santé et des Sports (Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique).
Decousus H, Quéré I, Presles E, Becker F, Barrellier M, Chanut M, et al. Superficial Venous Thrombosis and Venous Thromboembolism: A Large, Prospective Epidemiologic Study. Ann Intern Med. ;152:218–224. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-152-4-201002160-00006
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;152(4):218-224.
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