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      Intermittent pneumatic compression devices combined with anticoagulants for prevention of symptomatic deep vein thrombosis after total knee arthroplasty: a pilot study

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          To investigate the effectiveness of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices combined with anticoagulants for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

          Patients and methods

          In total 120 patients were involved in this pilot study. Patients in the control group received 10 mg of rivaroxaban per day after surgery. In addition to the prescription of rivaroxaban, IPC devices were used in the experimental group. The diagnosis of DVT was made by compression duplex ultrasound on postoperative day 9.


          The incidence rates of overall, proximal, distal, and intermuscular DVT were 8.3%, 0%, 1.67%, and 6.67% in the experimental group; and 18.3%, 0%, 5%, and 13.33% in the control group, respectively. The incidence rates of total, distal, and intermuscular DVT in TKA patients was significantly lower in the experimental group than in the control group. For patients with DVT, enoxaparin was used instead of rivaroxaban, and DVT was found to have disappeared 10–14 days postoperatively.


          Compared with the use of rivaroxaban alone, IPC devices combined with anticoagulants can significantly reduce the incidence rate of distal DVT and intermuscular DVT in the early postoperative period after TKA.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Prevention of VTE in orthopedic surgery patients: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines.

          VTE is a serious, but decreasing complication following major orthopedic surgery. This guideline focuses on optimal prophylaxis to reduce postoperative pulmonary embolism and DVT. The methods of this guideline follow those described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement. In patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery, we recommend the use of one of the following rather than no antithrombotic prophylaxis: low-molecular-weight heparin; fondaparinux; dabigatran, apixaban, rivaroxaban (total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty but not hip fracture surgery); low-dose unfractionated heparin; adjusted-dose vitamin K antagonist; aspirin (all Grade 1B); or an intermittent pneumatic compression device (IPCD) (Grade 1C) for a minimum of 10 to 14 days. We suggest the use of low-molecular-weight heparin in preference to the other agents we have recommended as alternatives (Grade 2C/2B), and in patients receiving pharmacologic prophylaxis, we suggest adding an IPCD during the hospital stay (Grade 2C). We suggest extending thromboprophylaxis for up to 35 days (Grade 2B). In patients at increased bleeding risk, we suggest an IPCD or no prophylaxis (Grade 2C). In patients who decline injections, we recommend using apixaban or dabigatran (all Grade 1B). We suggest against using inferior vena cava filter placement for primary prevention in patients with contraindications to both pharmacologic and mechanical thromboprophylaxis (Grade 2C). We recommend against Doppler (or duplex) ultrasonography screening before hospital discharge (Grade 1B). For patients with isolated lower-extremity injuries requiring leg immobilization, we suggest no thromboprophylaxis (Grade 2B). For patients undergoing knee arthroscopy without a history of VTE, we suggest no thromboprophylaxis (Grade 2B). Optimal strategies for thromboprophylaxis after major orthopedic surgery include pharmacologic and mechanical approaches.
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            Natural history of venous thromboembolism.

             Clive Kearon (2003)
            Most deep vein thromboses (DVTs) start in the calf, and most probably resolve spontaneously. Thrombi that remain confined to the calf rarely cause leg symptoms or symptomatic pulmonary embolism (PE). The probability that calf DVT will extend to involve the proximal veins and subsequently cause PE increases with the severity of the initiating prothrombotic stimulus. Although acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) usually presents with either leg or pulmonary symptoms, most patients have thrombosis at both sites at the time of diagnosis. Proximal DVTs resolve slowly during treatment with anticoagulants, and thrombi remain detectable in half of the patients after a year. Resolution of DVT is less likely in patients with a large initial thrombus or cancer. About 10% of patients with symptomatic DVTs develop severe post-thrombotic syndrome within 5 years, and recurrent ipsilateral DVT increases this risk. About 10% of PEs are rapidly fatal, and an additional 5% cause death later, despite diagnosis and treatment. About 50% of diagnosed PEs are associated with right ventricular dysfunction, which is associated with a approximately 5-fold greater in-hospital mortality. There is approximately 50% resolution of PE after 1 month of treatment, and perfusion eventually returns to normal in two thirds of patients. About 5% of treated patients with PE develop pulmonary hypertension as a result of poor resolution. After a course of treatment, the risk of recurrent thrombosis is higher (ie, approximately 10% per patient-year) in patients without reversible risk factors, in those with cancer, and in those with prothrombotic biochemical abnormalities such as antiphospholipid antibodies and homozygous factor V Leiden.
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              Guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pulmonary thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis (JCS 2009).


                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                14 February 2017
                : 13
                : 179-183
                Department of Orthopedics, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Xing Wu, Department of Orthopedics, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Number 301 Middle Yanchang Road, Shanghai 200072, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 132 6222 7613, Email orthopedics_dsyy@ 123456126.com

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2017 Liu et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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