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Postthrombotic syndrome: a 2014 update.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) is the most frequent complication of deep vein thrombosis. Its pathophysiology is incompletely understood and therapeutic options are limited. This review aims to present and discuss recently published studies that have improved our knowledge related to PTS.

RECENT FINDINGS: From a prognostic point of view, some polymorphisms of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 influence the degree of thrombus resolution after deep vein thrombosis and the subsequent rate of PTS, and could help in predicting the risk of PTS. From a therapeutic point of view, the results of a large multicenter placebo-controlled trial suggest an absence of effectiveness of elastic compression stockings to prevent PTS. In addition, although the Cavent trial of catheter-directed thrombolysis to treat ilio-femoral deep vein thrombosis showed significant reduction in the incidence of PTS that was cost-effective, secondary analyses did not show dramatic improvements in quality of life associated with use of catheter-directed thrombolysis.

SUMMARY: Choice of anticoagulant to treat deep vein thrombosis may represent a new cornerstone of PTS therapeutic management. Studies are needed to assess the impact of new oral anticoagulants and the benefit of extended courses of low molecular weight heparins on the risk of PTS.

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