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Elastic compression stockings and the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome in patients with symptomatic proximal vein thrombosis
  1. Beverley Lane,
  2. Steve Jones
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL

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    Report by Beverley Lane, Research Nurse Search checked by Steve Jones, Research Fellow

    Clinical scenario

    A 35 year old woman attends the emergency department with a swollen and painful left leg. A DVT is suspected and confirmed on ultrasound. You are aware of the possible risks of developing post-thrombotic syndrome and wonder whether this young woman would benefit from the use of compression stockings.

    Three part question

    In [patients with confirmed deep vein thrombosis] does [the use of compression stockings] reduce [the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome]?

    Search strategy

    Medline 1966–07/00 using the OVID interface. {(Exp.thrombosis OR venous thrombosis OR AND ( OR TED OR support OR exp. compression OR graduated compression LIMIT to english language AND human.

    Search outcome

    Altogether 19 papers were found of which 18 were irrelevant or of insufficient quality for inclusion. The remaining paper is shown in table 5.

    Table 5


    The incidence of PTS following confirmed DVT is unknown but it has been reported to be between 20% and 100%. This wide range probably reflects the small size of these retrospective studies with different periods of follow up and selection criteria. Interpretation of the findings from these studies is also hampered by the lack of objective diagnostic criteria for PTS.

    Clinical bottom line

    Elastic compression stockings should be used within two weeks of onset of acute thrombotic event and worn for up to two years.

    Report by Beverley Lane, Research Nurse Search checked by Steve Jones, Research Fellow


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