Venous thromboembolism

Link to article at PubMed

Lancet. 2021 May 10:S0140-6736(20)32658-1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32658-1. Online ahead of print.


Venous thromboembolism, comprising both deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is a chronic illness that affects nearly 10 million people every year worldwide. Strong provoking risk factors for venous thromboembolism include major surgery and active cancer, but most events are unprovoked. Diagnosis requires a sequential work-up that combines assessment of clinical pretest probability for venous thromboembolism using a clinical score (eg, Wells score), D-dimer testing, and imaging. Venous thromboembolism can be considered excluded in patients with both a non-high clinical pretest probability and normal D-dimer concentrations. When required, ultrasonography should be done for a suspected deep vein thrombosis and CT or ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy for a suspected pulmonary embolism. Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are the first-line treatment for almost all patients with venous thromboembolism (including those with cancer). After completing 3-6 months of initial treatment, anticoagulation can be discontinued in patients with venous thromboembolism provoked by a major transient risk factor. Patients whose long-term risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism outweighs the long-term risk of major bleeding, such as those with active cancer or men with unprovoked venous thromboembolism, should receive indefinite anticoagulant treatment. Pharmacological venous thromboembolism prophylaxis is generally warranted in patients undergoing major orthopaedic or cancer surgery. Ongoing research is focused on improving diagnostic strategies for suspected deep vein thrombosis, comparing different DOACs, developing safer anticoagulants, and further individualising approaches for the prevention and management of venous thromboembolism.

PMID:33984268 | DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32658-1

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