Knee versus Thigh Length Graduated Compression Stockings for Prevention of Deep Venous Thrombosis: A Systematic Review

Department of Vascular Surgery, Royal Free Hospital and University College Medical School, Royal Free Campus, Pond Street, Hampstead, London, NW3 2QG, UK.
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.07). 01/2007; 32(6):730-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2006.06.021
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Graduated compression stockings are a valuable means of thrombo-prophylaxis but it is unclear whether knee-length (KL) or thigh length (TL) stockings are more effective. The aim of this review was to systematically analyse randomised controlled trials that have evaluated stocking length and efficacy of thromboprophylaxis.
A systematic review of the literature was undertaken. Clinical trials on hospitalised populations and passengers on long haul flights were selected according to specific criteria and analysed to generate summated data.
14 randomized control trials were analysed. Thirty six of 1568 (2.3%) participants randomised to KL stockings developed a deep venous thrombosis, compared with 79 of 1696 (5%) in the TL control/thigh length group. Substantial heterogeneity was observed amongst trials. KL stockings had a significant effect to reduce the incidence of DVT in long haul flight passengers, odds ration 0.08 (95%CI 0.03-0.22). In hospitalised patients KL stockings did not appear to be far worse than TL stockings, odds ratio 1.01 (95%CI 0.35-2.90). For combined passengers and patients, there was a benefit in favour of KL stockings, weighted odds ratio 0.45 (95% CI 0.30-0.68).
KL graduated stockings can be as effective as TL stockings for the prevention of DVT, whilst offering advantages in terms of patient compliance and cost.


Available from: Richard W Morris, Jun 12, 2015
  • Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 03/2013; 21(2):325-332. DOI:10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2013.7582 · 0.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
    The Australian journal of advanced nursing: a quarterly publication of the Royal Australian Nursing Federation 01/2011; 27 (3):44-54. · 0.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Graduated elastic compression (GEC) stockings have been demonstrated to reduce the morbidity associated with post-thrombotic syndrome. The ideal length or compression strength required to achieve this is speculative and related to physician preference and patient compliance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hemodynamic performance of four different stockings and determine the patient's preference. METHODS: Thirty-four consecutive patients (40 legs, 34 male) with post-thrombotic syndrome were tested with four different stockings (Mediven plus open toe, Bayreuth, Germany) of their size in random order: class 1 (18-21 mm Hg) and class II (23-32 mm Hg), below-knee (BK) and above-knee thigh-length (AK). The median age, Venous Clinical Severity Score, Venous Segmental Disease Score, and Villalta scale were 62 years (range, 31-81 years), 8 (range, 1-21), 5 (range, 2-10), and 10 (range, 2-22), respectively. The C of C(0-6)E(s)A(s,d,p)P(r,o) was C(0) = 2, C(2) = 1, C(3) = 3, C(4a) = 12, C(4b) = 7, C(5) = 12, C(6) = 3. Obstruction and reflux was observed on duplex in 47.5% legs, with deep venous reflux alone in 45%. Air plethysmography was used to measure the venous filling index (VFI), venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume. Direct pressure measurements were obtained while lying and standing using the PicoPress device (Microlab Elettronica, Nicolò, Italy). The pressure sensor was placed underneath the test stocking 5 cm above and 2 cm posterior to the medial malleolus. At the end of the study session, patients stated their preferred stocking based on comfort. RESULTS: The VFI, venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume improved significantly with all types of stocking versus no compression. In class I, the VFI (mL/s) improved from a median of 4.9 (range, 1.7-16.3) without compression to 3.7 (range, 0-14) BK (24.5%) and 3.6 (range, 0.6-14.5) AK (26.5%). With class II, the corresponding improvement was to 4.0 (range, 0.3-16.2) BK (18.8%) and 3.7 (range, 0.5-14.2) AK (24.5%). Median stocking pressure (mm Hg) as measured with the PicoPress in class I was 23 (range, 12-33) lying and 27 (range, 19-39) standing (P < .0005) and in class II was 28 (range, 21-40) lying and 32 (range, 23-46) standing (P < .0005). There was a significant but weak correlation (Spearman) between stocking interface pressure measured directly with the PicoPress and the VFI improvement (baseline VFI-compression VFI) at r = .237; P = .005. Twenty-one patients (legs) changed their preference of compression and 38% of these (8/21 patients, 9/21 legs) preferred an AK-GEC stocking. CONCLUSIONS: Compression significantly improved all hemodynamic parameters on air plethysmography. However, the hemodynamic benefit did not significantly change with the class or length of stocking. These results support the liberal selection of a GEC stocking based on patient preference.
    Journal of vascular surgery: official publication, the Society for Vascular Surgery [and] International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter 02/2013; 58(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jvs.2013.01.003 · 2.98 Impact Factor