Vascular. 2021 Dec 27:17085381211067039. doi: 10.1177/17085381211067039. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: In this study, we retrospectively compared the outcomes of patients with acute deep vein thrombosis treated with dextran 40 infusion and unfractionated heparin with those of patients treated with unfractionated heparin alone.
METHODS: We evaluated 104 patients with the diagnosis of acute deep vein thrombosis. The pain complaints of the patients at the time of admission and the pain complaints in the calf with dorsiflexion of the foot were evaluated with the visual analogue pain scale, and the calf diameter of affected limbs was measured. Fifty five patients had dextran 40 infusion and unfractionated heparin treatment concomitantly (Group HD), while 49 patients had unfractionated heparin treatment (Group H). Heparin dose was adjusted to obtain 1.5- to 2.5-fold of normal activated partial thromboplastin time in both groups. Oral anticoagulant, warfarin sodium, was administered in the first day and resumed. Unfractionated heparin infusion therapy was resumed until international normalized ratio values of 2-2.5 were obtained. Dextran 40 infusion therapy was administered for 3 days. Calf diameters, current pain, and calf pain at foot dorsiflexion were recorded at 48 h and 72 h. 65 patients were distal, and 39 patients were proximal and popliteal acute DVT. None of the patients had phlegmasia. All were acute DVT.
RESULTS: At 48 and 72 h of therapy, it was determined that the decrease of the calf diameter and the pain were more significant both at 48th and 72nd hours in the Group HD. The calf circumference change, especially at 72 h, was 2.58 ± 0.39 cm in the group receiving heparin + dextran, while it was 1.76 ± 0.56 cm in the group receiving only heparin. (p = 0.000). While there were only 1.24 ± 1.02 people in the group that received dextran at 72 h, leg pain persisted in 3.35 ± 1.11 people in the other group. (p = 0.000). Evaluation was made only with calf vein diameter measurement. When patients with Homan's sign were evaluated for their calf pain at foot dorsiflexion; both groups had decreased pain at 48th and 72nd hours.
CONCLUSION: In this study, we observed that the use of dextran 40 infusion therapy concomitantly with unfractionated heparin accelerates recovery substantially and decreases patient complaints significantly in early stages. In particular, reduction in leg pain and calf circumference reduction were more adequate in the dextran group. The early decrease in the calf circumference will have clinical consequences such as less heparin intake, earlier return to normal life, and a decrease in the total cost of treatment. Since the antithrombotic and anticoagulant effects of dextran are well known, we think that its use in this treatment as well as venous thromboembolism prophylaxis should be discussed.