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Two Deep Vein Thrombosis Screening Protocols Compared

Regardless of timing, ultrasound results similar for total hip or knee replacement surgery patients

FRIDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound screening for deep vein thrombosis in total hip or knee replacement surgery patients yields similar results just before hospital discharge or two weeks after surgery, researchers report in the November issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Scott Dhupar, M.D., of the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., and colleagues compared 1,433 total hip or knee arthroplasty patients undergoing ultrasound two weeks after surgery with 931 patients screened before hospital discharge. All patients had warfarin before screening.

The researchers found little difference in deep vein thrombosis detection between patient groups: 2.5 percent (23) of those screened just before hospital release had deep vein thrombosis, while 2.2 percent (31) screened two weeks after surgery had proximal thromboses.

"There was no significant difference between the group that received two weeks of warfarin chemoprophylactic prophylaxis and the group that was screened at the time of the hospital discharge with regard to the detection of deep venous thrombosis with use of compression ultrasound," the authors write. "On the basis of these findings, we no longer screen asymptomatic patients for deep venous thrombosis following hip and knee replacement, and all patients receive warfarin anticoagulation for two weeks."

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