COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
META-ANALYSIS
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Intermittent pneumatic compression and deep vein thrombosis prevention. A meta-analysis in postoperative patients.

Our objective was to overview the effectiveness of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in postoperative patients, using meta-analysis methodology. We searched the Medline, metaRegister of Controlled Trials, and Cochrane database for studies published between 1970 and October 2004. Our inclusion criteria were: 1) randomized controlled trial of IPC versus no prophylaxis, 2) at least 20 patients per group, 3) at least one diagnostic DVT imaging test in all patients, and 4) clinical follow-up for at least the duration of hospitalization. A total of 2,270 patients were included in 15 eligible studies: 1,125 and 1,145 in the IPC and no prophylaxis group, respectively. The included studies formed a total of 16 treatment groups and were conducted in orthopedic (5), general surgical (4),oncologic (3), neurosurgical (3) and urologic (1) patient populations. In comparison to no prophylaxis, IPC devices reduced the risk of DVT by 60% (relative risk 0.40, 95% CI 0.29 - 0.56; p < 0.001). Contemporary randomized trials should be undertaken to test the utility of IPC in hospitalized medical patients as well as combined pharmacological plus IPC prophylaxis in both medical and surgical patients.

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