Different types of intermittent pneumatic compression devices for preventing venous thromboembolism in patients after total hip replacement

Department of Orthopaedics Trauma and Hand Surgery, 1st Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, No. 22, Shuang Yong Road, Nanning, China, 530021.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 5.94). 01/2012; 11(11):CD009543. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009543.pub2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Total hip replacement (THR) is an effective treatment for reducing pain and improving function and quality of life in patients with hip disorders. While this operation is very successful, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are significant complications after THR. Different types of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices have been used for thrombosis prophylaxis in patients following THR. Available devices differ in compression garments, location of air bladders, patterns of pump pressure cycles, compression profiles, cycle length, duration of inflation time and deflation time, or cycling mode such as automatic or constant cycling devices. Despite the widely accepted use of IPC for the treatment of arterial and venous diseases, the relative effectiveness of different types of IPC systems as prophylaxis against thrombosis after THR is still unclear. OBJECTIVES: To assess the comparative effectiveness and safety of different IPC devices with respect to the prevention of venous thromboembolism in patients after THR. SEARCH METHODS: The Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Trials Search Coordinator searched the Specialised Register (May 2012), CENTRAL (2012, Issue 4), MEDLINE (April Week 3 2012) and EMBASE (Week 17 2012). Clinical trial databases were searched for details of ongoing and unpublished studies. Reference lists of obtained articles were also screened. There were no limits imposed on language or publication status. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized and quasi-randomized controlled studies were eligible for inclusion. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently selected trials, assessed trials for eligibility and methodological quality, and extracted data. Disagreement was resolved by discussion or, if necessary, referred to a third review author. MAIN RESULTS: Only one quasi-randomized controlled study with 121 study participants comparing two types of IPC devices met the inclusion criteria. The authors found no cases of symptomatic DVT or PE in either the calf-thigh compression group or the plantar compression group during the first three weeks after the THR. The calf-thigh pneumatic compression was more effective than plantar compression for reducing thigh swelling during the early postoperative stage. The strength of the evidence in this review is weak as only one trial was included and it was classified as having a high risk of bias. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is a lack of evidence from randomized controlled trials to make an informed choice of IPC device for preventing venous thromboembolism (VTE) following total hip replacement. More research is urgently required, ideally a multicenter, properly designed RCT including a sufficient number of participants. Clinically relevant outcomes such as mortality, imaging-diagnosed asymptomatic VTE and major complications must be considered.

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