JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Asian venous thromboembolism guidelines: prevention of venous thromboembolism

N C Liew, Y H Chang, G Choi, P H Chu, X Gao, H Gibbs, C O Ho, H Ibrahim, T K Kim, B Kritpracha, L H Lee, L Lee, W Y Lee, Y J Li, A N Nicolaides, D Oh, D Pratama, N Ramakrishnan, P A Robless, G Villarama-Alemany, R Wong
International Angiology: a Journal of the International Union of Angiology 2012, 31 (6): 501-16
23222928
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis is under-utilized in Asia because of the misconception that its incidence is lower in Asians as compared to the Caucasians. The available data on VTE in Asia is limited due to the lack of well-designed multicenter randomized controlled trials as well as non-standardized research designs, making data comparison difficult. Emerging data indicates that the VTE incidence is not low in Asia, and is comparable to that reported in the Western literature in some instances. There is also a trend towards increasing incidence of VTE, as demonstrated by a number of hospital-based studies in Asia. This could be attributed to lifestyle changes, ageing population, increasing awareness of VTE and wider availability of Duplex ultrasound. The risk of VTE in hospitalized patients remain the same in Asians and Caucasians, even though there may be factors that are inherent to patients in Asia that influence the slight variation in incidence. The utilization rate of VTE prophylaxis remains suboptimal in Asia. The Asian Venous Thrombosis Forum (AVTF) comprises participants from various countries such as China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and experts from Australia and Europe. The forum evaluated the available data on VTE from the Asian region and formulated guidelines tailored to meet the needs of the region. We recommend that serious considerations are given to VTE prophylaxis especially in the at-risk group and a formal hospital policy be established to facilitate the implementation. On admission to the hospital, we recommend assessing the patients for both VTE and bleeding risk. We recommend mechanical prophylaxis for patients at increased risk of bleeding and utilizing it as an adjunctive measure in combination with pharmacological prophylaxis in patients with high risk of VTE. For patients undergoing general or gynecological surgery and with moderate risk for VTE, we recommend prophylaxis with one of the following: low dose unfractionated heparin (LDUH), low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), fondaparinux or intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC). For the same group of patients at high risk of VTE, we recommend pharmacological or combination of pharmacological and mechanical prophylaxis. For patients undergoing major orthopedic surgeries like total hip replacement, total knee replacement and proximal hip fracture surgery, we recommend using one of the following: LMWH, fondaparinux, rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban, dabigatran, warfarin or aspirin with IPC. For patients admitted to the hospital with acute medical illness and has moderate risk of VTE, we recommend prophylaxis with LDUH, LMWH or Fondaparinux. For the same group at high risk of VTE, we recommend combination of pharmacological and mechanical prophylaxis.

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