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Low Risk of Recurrent VTE for Upper Extremity DVT, SVT

But mortality high after both upper extremity deep and superficial vein thrombosis

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TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with upper extremity deep and superficial vein thrombosis (UEDVT and UESVT) have low risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) but high mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Suzanne M. Bleker, M.D., from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues examined optimal management and clinical outcome of UEDVT and UESVT. Data were included for 102 patients with UEDVT and 55 with UESVT who were followed for a median of 3.5 years.

The researchers found that 98 and 73 percent of patients with UEDVT and UESVT, respectively, started anticoagulant treatment. Of the patients with UEDVT, 9 percent developed recurrent VTE, 26 percent died, 8 percent had moderate postthrombotic symptoms, and 5 percent experienced major bleeding. Of the patients with UESVT, one had a recurrent VTE, 33 percent died, and none had moderate postthrombotic symptoms or major bleeding. Eighteen percent of cancer patients with UEDVT and 7.5 percent of noncancer patients had recurrent VTE (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.2; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.6 to 8.2). In cancer patients with versus those without UEDVT, the survival rate was 50 versus 60 percent (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 1.4).

"The risk of recurrent VTE was low in patients with UEDVT, and negligible for UESVT," the authors write. "Mortality was high for both diseases."

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