JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

How I treat isolated distal deep vein thrombosis (IDDVT)

Gualtiero Palareti
Blood 2014 March 20, 123 (12): 1802-9
24472834
Thromboses limited to infrapopliteal leg deep veins (isolated distal deep vein thrombosis [IDDVT]) are frequently diagnosed in subjects with suspected pulmonary embolism or DVT and account for one-fourth to one-half of all diagnosed leg DVTs. Despite their frequency, the natural history of IDDVTs and their real risk of thromboembolic complications are still uncertain because of the scarcity of prospective, blind, nonintervention studies. Therefore it is still debated whether they warrant diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is based on ultrasonographic examination, which is more operator dependent and less sensitive in distal than in proximal veins. The available data seem to support the view that most IDDVTs are self-limiting and inconsequential for patients, though in some cases they can be associated with complications and warrant diagnosis and treatment. The available guidelines for treatment of IDDVTs give different indications ranging from serial imaging of the deep veins for 2 weeks to detect and treat only in case of proximal extension, to giving oral anticoagulation in all IDDVT patients for 3 months. I review this issue, focusing on possible and suggested treatments in symptomatic IDDVT patients, and describe our current therapeutic approach to these patients.

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