Residual venous obstruction, alone and in combination with D-dimer, as a risk factor for recurrence after anticoagulation withdrawal following a first idiopathic deep vein thrombosis in the prolong study

B Cosmi, C Legnani, A Iorio, V Pengo, A Ghirarduzzi, S Testa, D Poli, A Tripodi, G Palareti
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2010, 39 (3): 356-65

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the predictive value of residual venous obstruction (RVO) for recurrent venous thrombo-embolism (VTE) in a study using D-dimer to predict outcome.

DESIGN: This is a multicentre randomised open-label study.

METHODS: Patients with a first episode of idiopathic VTE were enrolled on the day of anticoagulation discontinuation when RVO was determined by compression ultrasonography in those with proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the lower limbs. D-dimer was measured after 1 month. Patients with normal D-dimer did not resume anticoagulation while patients with abnormal D-dimer were randomised to resume anticoagulation or not. The primary outcome measure was recurrent VTE over an 18-month follow-up.

RESULTS: A total of 490 DVT patients were analysed (after excluding 19 for different reasons and 118 for isolated pulmonary embolism (PE)). Recurrent DVT occurred in 19% (19/99) of patients with abnormal D-dimer who did not resume anticoagulation and 10% (31/310) in subjects with normal D-dimer (adjusted hazard ratio: 2.1; p = 0.02). Recurrences were similar in subjects either with (11%, 17/151) or without RVO (13%, 32/246). Recurrent DVT rates were also similar for normal D-dimer, with or without RVO, and for abnormal D-dimer, with or without RVO.

CONCLUSIONS: Elevated D-dimer at 1 month after anticoagulation withdrawal is a risk factor for recurrence, while RVO at the time of anticoagulation withdrawal is not.

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