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Duration of anticoagulation therapy for venous thromboembolism

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Published in Hematology. 2008, vol. 2008, p. 252-8
Abstract Treatment of acute deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism-often denominated together as venous thromboembolism (VTE)- consists of parenteral administration of heparin (usually low-molecular-weight heparin or alternatively unfractionated heparin or fondaparinux) overlapped and followed by oral vitamin K antagonists that are administered for a certain period (usually 3 to 12 months). Recommended or suggested durations differ according to guidelines. Practically, the clinical decision in an individual patient depends upon the estimated risks of VTE recurrence and treatment-induced bleeding. The risk of VTE recurrence is higher in idiopathic events (about 10% per year during the first two years and 3% per year thereafter) (odds ratio of 2.4, compared to secondary events); in male subjects (at least before the age of 60, with an odds ratio of 2-4); in patients with persistently elevated D-dimer level (odds ratio of 2.3, compared with normal level); and during the first two years after discontinuation of treatment. The annual risk of major bleeding on anticoagulant treatment vary largely in observational studies with figures of 2% to 29%, depending on the patient characteristics. The case-fatality rate is 8% (DVT), 12% (PE) for recurrent VTE, and about 10% for major bleed. These figures do not support long-term anticoagulant therapy, except in those patients exhibiting a very high risk of recurrence and/or a very low risk of bleeding. New therapeutic aspects might impact on the duration of anticoagulant therapy after a venous thromboembolic event. They include the possibility of pursuing anticoagulant treatment at a reduced INR after an initial period with an INR 2-3, and the advent of new, more specific and orally active anticoagulants. These features might modify the risk-benefit balance of extending anticoagulant therapy beyond the usual, limited duration.
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PMID: 19074092
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Research groups Geneva Platelet Group (13)
Groupe Perrier Arnaud (Médecine interne générale, de réhabilitation et de gériatrie) (585)
La maladie thromboembolique veineuse (808)
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BOUNAMEAUX, Henri, PERRIER, Arnaud. Duration of anticoagulation therapy for venous thromboembolism. In: Hematology, 2008, vol. 2008, p. 252-8. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:1858

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Deposited on : 2009-06-02

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