Upper extremity DVT in oncological patients: analysis of risk factors. Data from the RIETE registry

M Monreal, F J Munoz, V Rosa, C Romero, P Roman, P Di Micco, P Prandoni
Experimental Oncology 2006, 28 (3): 245-7

AIM: The aim of the study is to up date informations on the clinical characteristics and outcome of patients with upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT) from the Informatised Registry on Venous Thromboembolism (RIETE).

METHODS: RIETE is an ongoing registry of consecutive patients with symptomatic, objectively confirmed, acute venous thromboembolism. In this analysis the clinical characteristics and 3-month outcome of all cancer patients with upper-extremity DVT were evaluated.

RESULTS: Up to February 2006, a total of 14,391 patients with symptomatic, objectively confirmed acute venous thromboembolism had been enrolled in RIETE. Of the 2,945 patients with active cancer 196 (6.7%) had arm DVT: 104 had catheter-associated DVT. Most cancer patients with arm DVT were males, younger than 65, and had a low incidence of additional risk factors or underlying diseases. Twenty of them (10%) had symptomatic pulmonary embolism (PE). Most patients were treated with low-molecular-weigh heparin, both initially (94%) and after discharge (75%). During the 3-month follow-up period 12 patients (6.1%) developed VTE recurrences (PE 6, DVT 6), 8 (4.1%) had major bleeding (fatal in 3), 43 (22%) died.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data from the RIETE registry show that upper limb DVT is a serious complication in patients with cancer, with a high incidence of recurrences and bleeding complications.

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