Type of publication:
*Crawford E., *Moudgil H., *Naicker T., *Ahmad N., *Srinivasan K.
European Respiratory Journal, September 2014, vol./is. 44 Supp 58
National guidance regarding the treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) advocates anticoagulating newly diagnosed patients for three months, followed by consideration of indefinite anticoagulation to reduce the risk of recurrent VTE in certain clinical situations. (NICE Clinical Guideline CG144, issued June 2012.) There is recent evidence that although deep vein thromboses (DVT) and pulmonary emboli (PE) are manifestations of the same disease, their patterns of recurrence and hence future morbidity and mortality risk are different. (Baglin, T. et al. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2010; 8(11):2436-2442.) We undertook a retrospective case-note review of 416 patients diagnosed with a VTE event within our institution between January 2010 and January 2011 to assess risk and pattern of VTE recurrence. 35 patients (8.4%) had a recurrent VTE event in the 3 years following diagnosis. Median time to recurrence was 12 months (mean 16.5, SD 10.5). None of the patients were anticoagulated at the time of recurrence and no patients died as a result of their thromboembolic event. Patterns of VTE recurrence The majority of patients with recurrent VTE in our study presented as a further DVT and as such, could be considered at lower risk of associated morbidity and mortality compared to those presenting with PE. Clinicians should consider the likely presentation of any further VTE recurrence as part of their assessment before advocating indefinite anticoagulation in these patients, particularly as the introduction of new oral anticoagulant drugs is likely to make the logistics of prescribing lifelong anticoagulation less complex.
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