Postdischarge venous thromboembolic complications following pulmonary oncologic resection: An underdetected problem
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OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of delayed postoperative venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients undergoing oncologic lung resections, despite adherence to current in-hospital VTE prophylaxis guidelines. METHODS: Patients undergoing lung resection for malignancy in 2 tertiary-care centers were recruited between June 2013 and December 2014. All patients received guideline-based VTE prophylaxis until hospital discharge. Patients underwent computed tomography chest angiography with pulmonary embolism (PE) protocol and bilateral lower extremity venous Doppler ultrasonography at 30 ± 5 days after surgery to determine the incidence of postoperative VTE. Univariate analysis was used to compare the VTE and non-VTE groups. RESULTS: A total of 157 patients were included, 45.9% were men with a mean age of 66.7 years. VTE prevalence was 12.1% with a total of 19 VTE events, including 14 PEs (8.9%), 3 deep venous thromboses (DVTs) (1.9%), 1 combined PE/DVT, and 1 massive left atrial thrombus originating from the pulmonary vein stump after pulmonary lobectomy. PE events occurred in the operated lung 64% of the time and 4 patients (21.1%) were symptomatic at diagnosis. The 30-day mortality rate of VTE events was 5.2%, with 1 patient who died secondary to massive in situ ipsilateral PE following readmission to the hospital. Univariate analysis did not demonstrate significant differences between the VTE and non-VTE populations with regard to baseline characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Despite adherence to in-hospital standard prophylaxis guidelines, VTE events are frequent, often asymptomatic, and with associated significant morbidity and mortality. More research into the potential role of predischarge screening and extended prophylaxis is warranted.
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