Predictors of post-thrombotic syndrome in a population with a first deep vein thrombosis and no primary venous insufficiency
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BACKGROUND: Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) is the most frequent complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Its diagnosis is based on clinical characteristics. However, symptoms and signs of PTS are non-specific, and could result from concomitant primary venous insufficiency (PVI) rather than DVT. This could bias evaluation of PTS. METHODS: Using data from the REVERSE multicenter study, we assessed risk factors for PTS in patients with a first unprovoked unilateral proximal DVT 5-7 months earlier who were free of clinically significant PVI (defined as absence of moderate or severe venous ectasia in the contralateral leg). RESULTS: Among the 328 patients considered, the prevalence of PTS was 27.1%. Obesity (odds ratio [OR] 2.6 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.5-4.7]), mild contralateral venous ectasia (OR 2.2 [95% CI 1.1-4.3]), poor International Normalized Ratio (INR) control (OR per additional 1% of time with INR < 2 during anticoagulant treatment of 1.018 [95% CI 1.003-1.034]) and the presence of residual venous obstruction on ultrasound (OR 2.1 [95% CI 1.1-3.7]) significantly increased the risk for PTS in multivariable analyses. When we restricted our analysis to patients without any signs, even mild, of contralateral venous insufficiency (n = 244), the prevalence of PTS decreased slightly to 24.6%. Only obesity remained an independent predictor of PTS (OR 2.6 [95% CI 1.3-5.0]). Poor INR control and residual venous obstruction also increased the risk, but the results were no longer statistically significant (OR 1.017 [95% CI 0.999-1.035] and OR 1.7 [95% CI 0.9-3.3], respectively). CONCLUSIONS: After a first unprovoked proximal DVT, obese patients and patients with even mild PVI constitute a group at increased risk of developing PTS for whom particular attention should be paid with respect to PTS prevention. Careful monitoring of anticoagulant treatment may prevent PTS.
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