Comparison of the clinical history of symptomatic isolated muscular calf vein thrombosis versus deep calf vein thrombosis

Jean-Philippe Galanaud, Marie-Antoinette Sevestre, Céline Genty, Jean-Pierre Laroche, Violaine Zizka, Isabelle Quéré, Jean-Luc Bosson
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2010, 52 (4): 932-8, 938.e1-2

BACKGROUND: Half of all lower limb deep vein thromboses (DVT) are distal DVT that are equally distributed between muscular calf vein thromboses (MCVT) and deep calf vein thromboses (DCVT). Despite their high prevalence, MCVT and DCVT have never been compared so far, which prevents possible modulation of distal DVT management according to the kind of distal DVT (MCVT or DCVT).

METHODS: Using data from the French, multicenter, prospective observational OPTimisation de l'Interrogatoire dans l'évaluation du risque throMbo-Embolique Veineux (OPTIMEV) study, we compared the clinical presentation and risk factors of 268 symptomatic isolated DCVT and 457 symptomatic isolated MCVT and the 3-month outcomes of the 222 DCVT and 390 MCVT that were followed-up.

RESULTS: During the entire follow-up, 86.5% of DCVT patients and 76.7% of MCVT patients were treated with anticoagulant drugs (P = .003). MCVT was significantly more associated with localized pain than DCVT (30.4% vs 22.4%, P = .02) and less associated with swelling (47.9% vs 62.7%, P < .001). MCVT and DCVT patients exhibited the same risk factors profile, except that recent surgery was slightly more associated with DCVT (odds ratio, 1.70%; confidence interval, 1.06-2.75), and had equivalent comorbidities as evaluated by the Charlson index. At 3 months, no statistically significant difference was noted between MCVT and DCVT in death (3.8% vs 4.1%), venous thromboembolism recurrence (1.5% vs 1.4%), and major bleeding (0% vs 0.5%).

CONCLUSION: Isolated symptomatic MCVT and DCVT exhibit different clinical symptoms at presentation but affect the same patient population. Under anticoagulant treatment and in the short-term, isolated distal DVT constitutes a homogeneous entity. Therapeutic trials are needed to determine a consensual mode of care of MCVT and DCVT.

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