Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2020 Jan-Dec;26:1076029620913942. doi: 10.1177/1076029620913942.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common complication for critically ill patients. Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) is recommended for patients with high risk of bleeding. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness of IPC for thromboprophylaxis in critically ill patients. We searched PubMed, Embase, and ClinicalTrials for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies that evaluated IPC in critically ill patients. RevMan 5.3 software was used for the meta-analysis. A total of 10 studies were included. The IPC group significantly reduced the VTE incidence compared with no thromboprophylaxis group (risk ratio [RR]: 0.35, confidence interval [CI]: 0.18-0.68, P = .002) and the IPC group also showed lower VTE incidence than the graduated compression stockings (GCS) group (RR: 0.47, CI: 0.24-0.91, P = .03). There were no significant differences between using IPC and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for VTE incidence (RR: 1.26, CI: 0.72-2.22, P = .41), but LMWH showed significantly more bleeding events. Intermittent pneumatic compression as an adjunctive treatment did not further reduce VTE incidence (RR: 0.55, CI: 0.24-1.27, P = .16). Intermittent pneumatic compression can reduce the incidence of VTE for critically ill patients, which is better than GCS and similar to LMWH, but it has no significant advantage as an adjunct therapy for thromboprophylaxis.