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Stockings Do Not Appear to Cut Thrombosis Risk After Stroke

Authors suggest guidelines on stroke care may need revision

THURSDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Thigh-length graduated compression stockings do not reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis in patients with acute stroke, according to a study published online on May 27 in The Lancet.

Martin Dennis, M.D., of the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom and chief investigator of the CLOTS Trials Collaboration, and colleagues conducted an outcome-blinded, randomized controlled trial of 2,518 patients recruited from 64 centers in Australia, Italy and the U.K., who had been hospitalized within a week of stroke onset and who were immobile. While 1,256 patients were given routine care plus thigh-length graduated compression stockings, 1,262 were given routine care without the stockings.

In the stockings group, 126 (10 percent) of the patients developed deep vein thrombosis, compared to 133 (10.5 percent) in the group without stockings; and patients in the intervention group were more likely to have skin breaks, ulcers, blisters and skin necrosis, which affected 64 (5 percent) of the patients, compared to 16 (1 percent) of those in the group treated without stockings, the investigators found.

"These data do not lend support to the use of thigh-length graduated compression stockings in patients admitted to hospital with acute stroke," the authors conclude. "National guidelines for stroke might need to be revised on the basis of these results."

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