Risk factors and clinical impact of postoperative symptomatic venous thromboembolism

University of Michigan School of Medicine Section of Vascular Surgery, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Journal of Vascular Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.02). 02/2007; 45(2):335-341; discussion 341-2. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvs.2006.10.034
Source: PubMed


Although common risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) are well known, little data exist concerning the clinical impact of VTE in postoperative patients outside of controlled studies. This study evaluated prospective perioperative demographic and clinical variables associated with occurrence of postoperative symptomatic VTE.
Demographic and clinical data were collected on surgical patients undergoing nine common general, vascular, and orthopedic operations presenting to the Veterans Health Administration Hospitals between 1996 and 2001 as part of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). The association between covariates and the incidence of postoperative symptomatic VTE (includes deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) was assessed using bivariable and multivariable regression.
Complete demographic and clinical information for analysis were available for 75,771 patients. The mean patient age was 65 years, and 96.6% were men. Major comorbidities included diabetes mellitus (DM), 25%; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 18.3%; and congestive heart failure (CHF), 3.9%. Symptomatic VTE was diagnosed in 805 patients (0.68%), varied significantly with procedure (0.14% for carotid endarterectomy vs 1.34% for total hip arthroplasty), and was associated with increased 30-day mortality (16.9% vs 4.4%, P < .0001). The incidence of VTE did not decline substantially between 1996 and 2001 (0.72% vs 0.68%). Preoperative factors associated with symptomatic VTE were older age, male gender, corticosteroid use, COPD, recent weight loss, disseminated cancer, low albumin, and low hematocrit (all P < .01) but not DM. Postoperative factors associated with VTE were myocardial infarction (MI), blood transfusion (>4 units), coma, pneumonia, and urinary tract infection (UTI), whereas those with hemodialysis-dependent renal failure were less likely to experience VTE (all P < .01). In multivariable analysis, adjusting for age and the variables significant by bivariable analysis, the strongest positive predictors of symptomatic VTE included UTI (odds ratio [OR], 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3 to 2.5), acute renal insufficiency (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1 to 3.2), postoperative transfusion (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.4 to 3.7), perioperative MI (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.5 to 3.9), and pneumonia (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 2.1 to 3.5). In contrast, hemodialysis (OR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.71), DM (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61 to 0.93), and higher preoperative albumin levels (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.74 to 0.96, per mg/dL change) were protective from symptomatic VTE.
Although the overall incidence of symptomatic VTE is low in surgical patients, it is associated with significantly increased 30-day mortality. In addition to previously recognized risk factors, patients who have postoperative complications of an infectious nature, bleeding, or MI are at particular risk.

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    • "Comorbidities such as congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been associated with increased VTE risk in some studies [6-8] but not in others [9,10]. The association with CHF may relate to blood flow stasis which is part of Virchow's triad [11] of alteration in blood flow (stasis), endothelial injury, and alterations in blood constituents (hypercoagulable factors). "
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    ABSTRACT: Venous thromboembolism is a common, fatal, and costly injury which complicates major surgery in older adults. The American College of Chest Physicians recommends high potency prophylaxis regimens for individuals undergoing total hip or knee replacement (THR or TKR), but surgeons are reluctant to prescribe them due to fear of excess bleeding. Identifying a high risk cohort such as older adults with comorbidities and co-occurring comorbidities who might benefit most from high potency prophylaxis would improve how we currently perform preoperative assessment. Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, we identified older adults who underwent THR or TKR in the U.S. between 2003 and 2006. Our outcome was VTE, including any pulmonary embolus or deep venous thrombosis. We performed multivariate logistic regression analyses to assess the effects of comorbidities on VTE occurrence. Comorbidities under consideration included coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and cerebrovascular disease. We also examined the impact of co-occurring comorbidities on VTE rates. CHF increased odds of VTE in both the THR cohort (OR = 3.08 95% CI 2.05-4.65) and TKR cohort (OR = 2.47 95% CI 1.95-3.14). COPD led to a 50% increase in odds in the TKR cohort (OR = 1.49 95% CI 1.31-1.70). The data did not support synergistic effect of co-occurring comorbidities with respect to VTE occurrence. Older adults with CHF undergoing THR or TKR and with COPD undergoing TKR are at increased risk of VTE. If confirmed in other datasets, these older adults may benefit from higher potency prophylaxis.
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    • "A systematic review of postoperative DVT reporting the incidence of PTS showed that the relative risk of developing PTS after asymptomatic DVT was 1AE58, compared with those without DVT (Wille- Jørgensen et al, 2005) The natural history of symptomatic VTE following major orthopaedic surgery (indeed most surgical procedures) is that these frequently occur following discharge (Pellegrini et al, 1996), particularly as the in-patient stay continues to reduce. Recent evidence seems to suggest that DVTs continue to occur up to 3 months following discharge (Gangireddy et al, 2007). Therefore, individual surgeons are often unaware that VTE events are occurring in their patients. "
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    ABSTRACT: The risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) associated with lower limb immobilisation is unclear, owing to of a lack of evidence from studies in this patient group. However, six small, randomised control trials (RCTs), totalling 1536 patients, compared low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) with controls and showed a significant reduction in asymptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) from 17.1% to 9.8%, with very low bleeding rates. This is likely to be an underestimate of the real risk reduction as most trials excluded high-risk patients from randomisation. There have been no other controlled trials in cast-immobilised patients using alternative prophylactic measures. Together with the RCTs, other cohort studies have identified risk factors that increase the risk for VTE in lower limb immobilisation. In summary, patients in lower limb cast (or brace) immobilisation should be risk assessed and those deemed high risk for VTE should receive prophylactic LMWH for at least the duration of cast immobilisation.
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