Value of a planned compression ultrasonography after an isolated superficial vein thrombosis: results from a prospective multicentre study

S Quenet, J-P Laroche, L Bertoletti, I Quéré, H Décousus, F Becker, A Leizorovicz
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2012, 43 (2): 233-7

OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficiency of a systematically planned compression ultrasonography (SP-CUS) to detect venous thrombotic complications (VTCs) in patients with symptomatic isolated superficial vein thrombosis (SVT).

DESIGN: Post hoc analysis of a prospective, multicentre, cohort study (POST).

PATIENTS: As many as 537 patients with CUS-confirmed isolated SVT undergoing an SP-CUS 8-15 days after the initial CUS.

OUTCOMES: Asymptomatic VTC (extension or recurrence of SVT, deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) of the lower limbs) diagnosed by the SP-CUS and symptomatic thromboembolic complications (VTC and pulmonary embolism (PE)) up to 3 months.

RESULTS: VTC was suspected before or on the day of the SP-CUS in 18 patients (3.0%). Among the 519 asymptomatic patients (97%) undergoing SP-CUS, this revealed asymptomatic VTC in 12 patients (2.3%; 4 DVT, 4 SVT recurrences, 4 SVT extensions), none of whom subsequently experienced symptomatic thromboembolic events up to 3 months. Among the 507 patients with a normal SP-CUS, 29 (5.7%) presented symptomatic thromboembolic events during follow-up: 2 PE, 7 DVT, 9 SVT recurrences and 11 SVT extensions.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the SP-CUS detected a few asymptomatic VTC, but failed to identify patients at risk of thromboembolic events during follow-up. Use of an SP-CUS was therefore neither efficient nor cost effective.

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