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1.  Synergistic Effects of Hypofibrinolysis and Genetic and Acquired Risk Factors on the Risk of a First Venous Thrombosis 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(5):e97.
Background
Previously, we demonstrated that hypofibrinolysis, a decreased capacity to dissolve a blood clot as measured with an overall clot lysis assay, increases the risk of venous thrombosis. Here, we investigated the combined effect of hypofibrinolysis with established risk factors associated with hypercoagulability.
Methods and Findings
Fibrinolytic potential was determined with a plasma-based clot lysis assay in 2,090 patients with venous thrombosis and 2,564 control participants between 18 and 70 y of age enrolled in the Multiple Environmental and Genetic Assessment (MEGA) of risk factors for venous thrombosis study, a population-based case-control study on venous thrombosis. Participants completed a standardized questionnaire on acquired risk factors.
Hypofibrinolysis alone, i.e., clot lysis time (CLT) in the fourth quartile (longest CLT) (in absence of the other risk factor of interest) increased thrombosis risk about 2-fold relative to individuals with CLT in the first quartile (shortest CLT). Oral contraceptive use in women with CLT in the first quartile gave an odds ratio (OR) of 2.6 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6 to 4.0), while women with hypofibrinolysis who used oral contraceptives had an over 20-fold increased risk of venous thrombosis (OR 21.8, 95% CI 10.2 to 46.7). For immobilization alone the OR was 4.3 (95% CI 3.2 to 5.8) and immobilization with hypofibrinolysis increased the risk 10.3-fold (95% CI 7.7 to 13.8). Factor V Leiden alone increased the risk 3.5-fold (95% CI 2.3 to 5.5), and hypofibrinolysis in factor V Leiden carriers gave an OR of 8.1 (95% CI 5.3 to 12.3). The combination of hypofibrinolysis and the prothrombin 20210A mutation did not synergistically increase the risk. All ORs and 95% CIs presented are relative to individuals with CLT in the first quartile and without the other risk factor of interest.
Conclusions
The combination of hypofibrinolysis with oral contraceptive use, immobilization, or factor V Leiden results in a risk of venous thrombosis that exceeds the sum of the individual risks.
Frits Rosendaal and colleagues show that the combination of hypofibrinolysis with oral contraceptive use, immobilization, or factor V Leiden results in a risk of venous thrombosis that exceeds the sum of the individual risks.
Editors' Summary
Background.
When a blood vessel is injured, proteins in the blood called clotting factors “coagulate” (solidify) the blood at the injury site. The resultant clot (thrombus) plugs the wound and prevents blood loss. When the injury has healed, other proteins dissolve the clot, a process called “fibrinolysis.” Sometimes, however, a thrombus develops inside an undamaged blood vessel and partly or completely blocks the blood flow. A clot that occurs in one of the veins (vessels that take the blood to the heart) deep within the body (usually in the leg) is a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Some DVTs have no symptoms; others cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in one leg. They are usually treated with heparin and warfarin, anticoagulant drugs that stop the clot growing. If left untreated, part of the clot (an embolus) can break off and travel to the lungs, where it can cause a life-threatening condition called a pulmonary embolism (PE).
Why Was This Study Done?
Most people are very unlikely to develop venous thrombosis (the collective term for DVT and PE), but anything that makes blood “hypercoagulable” (prone to clotting) increases this risk. Genetic risk factors can be inherited changes in blood clotting proteins (for example, a mutation in a gene coding for one protein, factor V, which is involved in clotting, is known as factor V Leiden—Leiden, The Netherlands, was where it was first described). There are also acquired risk factors such as taking oral contraceptives or being immobilized (for example, during bed rest). These risk factors often act in such a way that the risk of developing venous thrombosis for a person with multiple risk factors is greater than the sum of the individual risks. Another recently identified but little studied risk factor for venous thrombosis is “hypofibrinolysis,” a decreased capacity to dissolve blood clots. In this study (part of the “MEGA” study on risk factors for venous thrombosis), the researchers investigate the combined effect of hypofibrinolysis and established risk factors associated with hypercoagulability on the risk of developing venous thrombosis.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers collected blood from more than 2,000 individuals after their first DVT or PE and from a similar number of persons without venous thrombosis (controls). For each blood sample, they measured the time it took to dissolve a clot generated from that blood in a test tube (the clot lysis time or CLT) and determined which participants had the factor V Leiden mutation or a genetic change in the clotting factor prothrombin that also increases blood coagulability. The study participants also completed a questionnaire about acquired risk factors for venous thrombosis. The researchers divided the participants into four equal-sized groups (quartiles) based on their CLT and used the quartile with the lowest CLT as the reference group for their statistical analyses; hypofibrinolysis was defined as a CLT in the highest quartile (the longest times). Participants with hypofibrinolysis alone were twice as likely to develop venous thrombosis as those with a CLT in the lowest quartile (the shortest times). Oral contraceptive use alone increased the risk of venous thrombosis 2.5-fold, whereas the combination of oral contraceptive use and hypofibrinolysis increased the risk 20-fold. The researchers also found synergistic effects on thrombosis risk for hypofibrinolysis combined with immobilization or with the factor V Leiden mutation but not with the prothrombin mutation.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings confirm that persons with hypofibrinolysis and hence longer CLTs have a greater risk of developing venous thrombosis than those with short CLTs. Because CLTs were measured after venous thrombosis had occurred, hypofibrinolysis could be an effect rather than a cause of this condition. However, this is unlikely because there was no association between how long after the venous thrombosis the blood sample was taken and the measured CLT. These findings also show that the combination of hypofibrinolysis with immobilization, the factor V Leiden mutation, and oral contraceptive use greatly increases the risk of venous thrombosis. This new information about the risk factors for venous thrombosis should help physicians to advise patients about reducing their chances of developing this life-threatening condition.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050097.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism (in English and Spanish)
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides information on deep vein thrombosis, including an animation about how DVT causes pulmonary embolisms
The UK National Health Service Direct health encyclopedia provides information for patients on deep vein thrombosis (in several languages)
More information about the Multiple Environmental and Genetic Assessment of risk factors for venous thrombosis (MEGA) study is available on the Leiden University Medical Center Web site
Wikipedia has pages on coagulation and on fibrinolysis (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050097
PMCID: PMC2365975  PMID: 18462012
2.  Effect of Statins on Venous Thromboembolic Events: A Meta-analysis of Published and Unpublished Evidence from Randomised Controlled Trials 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(9):e1001310.
A systematic review and meta-analysis conducted by Kazem Rahimi and colleagues re-evaluates the hypothesis, generated in previous studies, that statins may reduce the risk of venous thromboembolic events. Their meta-analysis does not support the previous findings.
Background
It has been suggested that statins substantially reduce the risk of venous thromboembolic events. We sought to test this hypothesis by performing a meta-analysis of both published and unpublished results from randomised trials of statins.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane CENTRAL up to March 2012 for randomised controlled trials comparing statin with no statin, or comparing high dose versus standard dose statin, with 100 or more randomised participants and at least 6 months' follow-up. Investigators were contacted for unpublished information about venous thromboembolic events during follow-up. Twenty-two trials of statin versus control (105,759 participants) and seven trials of an intensive versus a standard dose statin regimen (40,594 participants) were included. In trials of statin versus control, allocation to statin therapy did not significantly reduce the risk of venous thromboembolic events (465 [0.9%] statin versus 521 [1.0%] control, odds ratio [OR] = 0.89, 95% CI 0.78–1.01, p = 0.08) with no evidence of heterogeneity between effects on deep vein thrombosis (266 versus 311, OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.72–1.01) and effects on pulmonary embolism (205 versus 222, OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.76–1.12). Exclusion of the trial result that provided the motivation for our meta-analysis (JUPITER) had little impact on the findings for venous thromboembolic events (431 [0.9%] versus 461 [1.0%], OR = 0.93 [95% CI 0.82–1.07], p = 0.32 among the other 21 trials). There was no evidence that higher dose statin therapy reduced the risk of venous thromboembolic events compared with standard dose statin therapy (198 [1.0%] versus 202 [1.0%], OR = 0.98, 95% CI 0.80–1.20, p = 0.87). Risk of bias overall was small but a certain degree of effect underestimation due to random error cannot be ruled out.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Conclusions
The findings from this meta-analysis do not support the previous suggestion of a large protective effect of statins (or higher dose statins) on venous thromboembolic events. However, a more moderate reduction in risk up to about one-fifth cannot be ruled out.
Editors' Summary
Background
Blood normally flows smoothly throughout the human body, supplying its organs and tissues with oxygen and nutrients. But, when an injury occurs, proteins called clotting factors make the blood gel (coagulate) at the injury site. The resultant blood clot (thrombus) plugs the wound and prevents blood loss. Occasionally, however, a thrombus forms inside an uninjured blood vessel and partly or completely blocks the blood flow. A clot inside one of the veins (vessels that take blood towards the heart) deep within the body is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Symptoms of DVT (which usually occurs in the leg) include pain, swelling, and redness in the affected limb. DVT is treated with heparin and warfarin, two anticoagulant drugs that stop the blood clot growing. If left untreated, part of the clot (an embolus) can break off and travel to the lungs, where it can cause a pulmonary embolism (PE), a life-threatening condition characterized by chest pain, breathlessness, coughing, and dizziness. Little is known about how to prevent DVTs and PEs but risk factors for these venous thromboembolic events include having an inherited blood clotting disorder, oral contraceptive use, having surgery, and prolonged inactivity (on long-haul plane flights, for example).
Why Was This Study Done?
In 2009, a secondary (add-on) analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial (RCT, a study that randomly assigns individuals to receive different treatments and compares the outcomes associated with each treatment) called the JUPITER trial reported that rosuvastatin—a cholesterol-lowering drug (statin)—halved the risk of venous thromboembolic events among apparently healthy adults. The JUPITER trial was initiated to test whether statins reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular diseases (conditions that involve the heart and the blood vessels) among adults with raised levels of a predictor for these diseases called C-reactive protein; statins reduce the levels of this protein as well as those of cholesterol. Because fewer than 100 of the participants in the JUPITER trial developed a DVT or PE, the reduction in the risk of a venous thromboembolic event among the participants who took rosuvastatin could have happened by chance. In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 29 RCTs of statins that collected information on many more venous thromboembolic events, the researchers test the hypothesis that statins substantially reduce the risk of such events. A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic; a meta-analysis is a statistical approach that combines the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 22 RCTs (105,759 participants) that compared the effects of statins with control (dummy) tablets and seven (40,594 participants) that compared an intensive statin regimen with a standard regimen. They then obtained largely unpublished information about the venous thromboembolic events that occurred during these trials (about 1,000 DVTs and PEs) from the original investigators. In the trials of statin versus control, allocation to statin therapy did not significantly reduce the risk of venous thromboembolic events. Thus, although events occurred in 465 participants who were given statins (0.9% of the participants) and in 521 participants who were given control tablets (1% of the participants), this difference in outcomes was not statistically significant—it could have happened by chance. Exclusion of the JUPITER trial results from the meta-analysis did not alter this finding. The researchers also found no evidence that intensive statin therapy reduced the risk of venous thromboembolic events compared to standard therapy.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings of this meta-analysis do not support the suggestion that statins, either at the standard dose or at higher doses, reduce the risk of venous thromboembolic events substantially among healthy adults. It is possible that the effect of statins has been underestimated in this meta-analysis because of missing data or because of some other source of bias. Furthermore, because the total number of events in this meta-analysis is still relatively modest, these findings do not rule out the possibility that statins may reduce the risk of venous thromboembolic events by up to about one-fifth in some or all individuals. Additional large RCTs are now needed to investigate whether statin treatment does in fact reduce the risk of venous thromboembolic events in adults and, if it does, whether all statins have a similar effect and whether statin treatment is beneficial in everyone or only in specific subgroups of people.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001310.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Frits Rosendaal
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides information on deep vein thrombosis (including an animation about how DVT causes pulmonary embolisms), and information on pulmonary embolism
The UK National Health Service Choices website has information on deep vein thrombosis, including personal stories, on pulmonary embolism, and on statins; a Behind the Headlines article describes the JUPITER trial and its implications
The non-profit organization US National Blood Clot Alliance provides detailed information about deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism for patients and professionals and includes a selection of personal stories about these conditions
MedlinePlus has links to further information about deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and statins (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001310
PMCID: PMC3445446  PMID: 23028261
3.  The Absolute Risk of Venous Thrombosis after Air Travel: A Cohort Study of 8,755 Employees of International Organisations 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(9):e290.
Background
The risk of venous thrombosis is approximately 2- to 4-fold increased after air travel, but the absolute risk is unknown. The objective of this study was to assess the absolute risk of venous thrombosis after air travel.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cohort study among employees of large international companies and organisations, who were followed between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2005. The occurrence of symptomatic venous thrombosis was linked to exposure to air travel, as assessed by travel records provided by the companies and organisations. A long-haul flight was defined as a flight of at least 4 h and participants were considered exposed for a postflight period of 8 wk. A total of 8,755 employees were followed during a total follow-up time of 38,910 person-years (PY). The total time employees were exposed to a long-haul flight was 6,872 PY. In the follow-up period, 53 thromboses occurred, 22 of which within 8 wk of a long-haul flight, yielding an incidence rate of 3.2/1,000 PY, as compared to 1.0/1,000 PY in individuals not exposed to air travel (incidence rate ratio 3.2, 95% confidence interval 1.8–5.6). This rate was equivalent to a risk of one event per 4,656 long-haul flights. The risk increased with exposure to more flights within a short time frame and with increasing duration of flights. The incidence was highest in the first 2 wk after travel and gradually decreased to baseline after 8 wk. The risk was particularly high in employees under age 30 y, women who used oral contraceptives, and individuals who were particularly short, tall, or overweight.
Conclusions
The risk of symptomatic venous thrombosis after air travel is moderately increased on average, and rises with increasing exposure and in high-risk groups.
In a cohort study of 8,755 employees of large international organizations followed for 38,910 person-years, Suzanne Cannegieter and colleagues find a risk of one thrombosis per 4,656 long-haul flights.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Blood normally flows smoothly throughout the human body, supplying the brain and other vital organs with oxygen and nutrients. When an injury occurs, proteins called clotting factors make the blood gel or coagulate at the injury site. The resultant blood clot (thrombus) plugs the wound and prevents blood loss. Sometimes, however, a thrombus forms inside an uninjured blood vessel and partly or completely blocks the blood flow. A clot inside one of the veins (vessels that take blood to the heart) deep within the body is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Symptoms of DVT (which usually occurs in the deep veins of the leg) include pain, swelling, and redness in one leg. DVT is usually treated with heparin and warfarin, two anticoagulant drugs that stop the blood clot growing. If left untreated, part of the clot (an embolus) can break off and travel to the lungs, where it can cause a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism (PE). Fortunately, DVT and PE are rare but having an inherited blood clotting disorder, taking an oral contraceptive, and some types of surgery are all risk factors for them. In addition, long-haul plane travel increases the risk of DVT and PE, known collectively as venous thrombosis (VT) 2- to 4-fold, in part because the enforced immobilization during flights slows down blood flow.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the link between air travel and VT was first noticed in the 1950s, exactly how many people will develop DVT and PE (the absolute risk of developing VT) after a long flight remains unknown. This information is needed so that travelers can be given advice about their actual risk and can make informed decisions about trying to reduce that risk by, for example, taking small doses of anticoagulant medicine before a flight. In this study, the researchers have determined the absolute risk of VT during and after long-haul air travel in a large group of business travelers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled almost 9,000 employees from several international companies and organizations and followed them for an average of 4.4 years. The details of flights taken by each employee were obtained from company records, and employees completed a Web-based questionnaire about whether they had developed VT and what risk factors they had for the condition. Out of 53 thrombi that occurred during the study, 22 occurred within eight weeks of a long-haul flight (a flight of more than four hours). From this and data on the total time employees spent on long-haul flights, the researchers calculated that these flights tripled the risk of developing VT, and that the absolute risk (the probability of something occurring in a certain time period) of a VT occurring shortly after such travel was one event per 4,656 flights. They also calculated that the risk of VT was increased by exposure to more flights during a short period and to longer flights and was greatest in the first two weeks after a flight. In addition, the risk of VT was particularly high in young employees, women taking oral contraceptives, and people who were short, tall or overweight.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The main finding of this study is that the absolute risk of VT after of a long-haul flight is low—only one passenger out of nearly 5,000 is likely to develop VT because of flying. However, the study included only healthy people without previous VT whose average age was 40 years, so the absolute risk of VT after long-haul flights might be higher in the general traveling population. Even so, this finding strongly suggests that prophylactic (preventative) use of anticoagulants by all long-haul travelers may not be justified because these drugs have potentially dangerous side effects (for example, they can cause uncontrolled bleeding). Subgroups of travelers with additional risk factors for VT might, however, benefit from the use of this and other prophylactic measures, but randomized trials are needed to find out who would benefit most from which prophylactic measure.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040290.
MedlinePlus encyclopedia pages on blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism (in English and Spanish)
Information from the US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute on deep vein thrombosis, including an animation of how DVT causes pulmonary embolisms
Information for patients from the UK National Health Service Direct health encyclopedia on deep vein thrombosis (in several languages)
Information for travelers on DVT from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the UK National Travel Health Network and Centre
This study came out of the WHO Research Into Global Hazards of Travel (WRIGHT) project, and WHO's WRIGHT project on Air Travel and Venous Thromboembolism, of which his study forms a part, has a Web site
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040290
PMCID: PMC1989755  PMID: 17896862
4.  Plasma DNA is Elevated in Patients with Deep Vein Thrombosis 
Objective
To investigate if plasma DNA is elevated in patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and to determine whether there is a correlation with other biomarkers of DVT.
Background
Leukocytes release DNA to form extracellular traps (ETs), which have recently been linked to experimental DVT. In baboons and mice, extracellular DNA co-localized with von Willebrand factor (VWF) in the thrombus and DNA appeared in circulation at the time of thrombus formation. ETs have not been associated with clinical DVT.
Setting
From December 2008 to August 2010, patients were screened through the University of Michigan Diagnostic Vascular Unit and were divided into three distinct groups: 1) the DVT positive group, consisting of patients who were symptomatic for DVT, which was confirmed by compression duplex ultrasound (n=47); 2) the DVT negative group, consisting of patients that present with swelling and leg pain but had a negative compression duplex ultrasound, (n=28); and 3) a control group of healthy non-pregnant volunteers without signs or symptoms of active or previous DVT (n=19). Patients were excluded if they were less than 18 years of age, unwillingness to consent, pregnant, on an anticoagulant therapy, or diagnosed with isolated calf vein thrombosis.
Methods
Blood was collected for circulating DNA, CRP, D-dimer, VWF activity, myeloperoxidase (MPO), ADAMTS13 and VWF. The Wells score for a patient’s risk of DVT was assessed. The Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve was generated to determine the strength of the relationship between circulating DNA levels and the presence of DVT. A Spearman correlation was performed to determine the relationship between the DNA levels and the biomarkers and the Wells score. Additionally the ratio of ADAMTS13/VWF was assessed.
Results
Our results showed that circulating DNA (a surrogate marker for NETs) was significantly elevated in DVT patients, compared to both DVT negative patients (57.7±6.3 vs. 17.9±3.5ng/mL, P<.01) and controls (57.7±6.3 vs. 23.9±2.1ng/mL, P<.01). There was a strong positive correlation with CRP (P<.01), D-dimer (P<.01), VWF (P<.01), Wells score (P<.01) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) (P<.01), along with a strong negative correlation with ADAMTS13 (P<.01) and the ADAMTS13/VWF ratio. The logistic regression model showed a strong association between plasma DNA and the presence of DVT (ROC curve was determined to be 0.814).
Conclusions
Plasma DNA is elevated in patients with deep vein thrombosis and correlates with biomarkers of DVT. A strong correlation between circulating DNA and MPO suggests that neutrophils may be a source of plasma DNA in patients with DVT.
doi:10.1016/j.jvsv.2012.12.002
PMCID: PMC3810974  PMID: 24187669
5.  Current and Former Smoking and Risk for Venous Thromboembolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001515.
In a meta-analysis of 32 observational studies involving 3,966,184 participants and 35,151 events, Suhua Wu and colleagues found that current, ever, and former smoking was associated with risk of venous thromboembolism.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Smoking is a well-established risk factor for atherosclerotic disease, but its role as an independent risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains controversial. We conducted a meta-analysis to summarize all published prospective studies and case-control studies to update the risk for VTE in smokers and determine whether a dose–response relationship exists.
Methods and Findings
We performed a literature search using MEDLINE (source PubMed, January 1, 1966 to June 15, 2013) and EMBASE (January 1, 1980 to June 15, 2013) with no restrictions. Pooled effect estimates were obtained by using random-effects meta-analysis. Thirty-two observational studies involving 3,966,184 participants and 35,151 VTE events were identified. Compared with never smokers, the overall combined relative risks (RRs) for developing VTE were 1.17 (95% CI 1.09–1.25) for ever smokers, 1.23 (95% CI 1.14–1.33) for current smokers, and 1.10 (95% CI 1.03–1.17) for former smokers, respectively. The risk increased by 10.2% (95% CI 8.6%–11.8%) for every additional ten cigarettes per day smoked or by 6.1% (95% CI 3.8%–8.5%) for every additional ten pack-years. Analysis of 13 studies adjusted for body mass index (BMI) yielded a relatively higher RR (1.30; 95% CI 1.24–1.37) for current smokers. The population attributable fractions of VTE were 8.7% (95% CI 4.8%–12.3%) for ever smoking, 5.8% (95% CI 3.6%–8.2%) for current smoking, and 2.7% (95% CI 0.8%–4.5%) for former smoking. Smoking was associated with an absolute risk increase of 24.3 (95% CI 15.4–26.7) cases per 100,000 person-years.
Conclusions
Cigarette smoking is associated with a slightly increased risk for VTE. BMI appears to be a confounding factor in the risk estimates. The relationship between VTE and smoking has clinical relevance with respect to individual screening, risk factor modification, and the primary and secondary prevention of VTE.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Blood normally flows throughout the human body, supplying its organs and tissues with oxygen and nutrients. But, when an injury occurs, proteins called clotting factors make the blood gel (coagulate) at the injury site. The resultant clot (thrombus) plugs the wound and prevents blood loss. Occasionally, a thrombus forms inside an uninjured blood vessel and partly or completely blocks the blood flow. Clot formation inside one of the veins deep within the body, usually in a leg, is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and can cause pain, swelling, and redness in the affected limb. DVT can be treated with drugs that stop the blood clot from getting larger (anticoagulants) but, if left untreated, part of the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, where it can cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. DVT and pulmonary embolism are collectively known as venous thromboembolism (VTE). Risk factors for VTE include having an inherited blood clotting disorder, oral contraceptive use, prolonged inactivity (for example, during a long-haul plane flight), and having surgery. VTEs are present in about a third of all people who die in hospital and, in non-bedridden populations, about 10% of people die within 28 days of a first VTE event.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some but not all studies have reported that smoking is also a risk factor for VTE. A clear demonstration of a significant association (a relationship unlikely to have occurred by chance) between smoking and VTE might help to reduce the burden of VTE because smoking can potentially be reduced by encouraging individuals to quit smoking and through taxation policies and other measures designed to reduce tobacco consumption. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers examine the link between smoking and the risk of VTE in the general population and investigate whether heavy smokers have a higher risk of VTE than light smokers. A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic; meta-analysis is a statistical method for combining the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 32 observational studies (investigations that record a population's baseline characteristics and subsequent disease development) that provided data on smoking and VTE. Together, the studies involved nearly 4 million participants and recorded 35,151 VTE events. Compared with never smokers, ever smokers (current and former smokers combined) had a relative risk (RR) of developing VTE of 1.17. That is, ever smokers were 17% more likely to develop VTE than never smokers. For current smokers and former smokers, RRs were 1.23 and 1.10, respectively. Analysis of only studies that adjusted for body mass index (a measure of body fat and a known risk factor for conditions that affect the heart and circulation) yielded a slightly higher RR (1.30) for current smokers compared with never smokers. For ever smokers, the population attributable fraction (the proportional reduction in VTE that would accrue in the population if no one smoked) was 8.7%. Notably, the risk of VTE increased by 10.2% for every additional ten cigarettes smoked per day and by 6.1% for every additional ten pack-years. Thus, an individual who smoked one pack of cigarettes per day for 40 years had a 26.7% higher risk of developing VTE than someone who had never smoked. Finally, smoking was associated with an absolute risk increase of 24.3 cases of VTE per 100,000 person-years.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that cigarette smoking is associated with a statistically significant, slightly increased risk for VTE among the general population and reveal a dose-relationship between smoking and VTE risk. They cannot prove that smoking causes VTE—people who smoke may share other unknown characteristics (confounding factors) that are actually responsible for their increased risk of VTE. Indeed, these findings identify body mass index as a potential confounding factor that might affect the accuracy of estimates of the association between smoking and VTE risk. Although the risk of VTE associated with smoking is smaller than the risk associated with some well-established VTE risk factors, smoking is more common (globally, there are 1.1 billion smokers) and may act synergistically with some of these risk factors. Thus, smoking behavior should be considered when screening individuals for VTE and in the prevention of first and subsequent VTE events.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001515.
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides information on deep vein thrombosis (including an animation about how DVT causes pulmonary embolism), and information on pulmonary embolism
The UK National Health Service Choices website has information on deep vein thrombosis, including personal stories, and on pulmonary embolism; SmokeFree is a website provided by the UK National Health Service that offers advice on quitting smoking
The non-profit organization US National Blood Clot Alliance provides detailed information about deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism for patients and professionals and includes a selection of personal stories about these conditions
The World Health Organization provides information about the dangers of tobacco (in several languages)
Smokefree.gov, from the US National Cancer Institute, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking
MedlinePlus has links to further information about deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and the dangers of smoking (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001515
PMCID: PMC3775725  PMID: 24068896
6.  Hematologic Genetic Testing in High-risk Patients Before Knee Arthroplasty: A Pilot Study 
Background
Patients with a personal or familial history of thromboembolism are considered at higher risk for thromboembolic disease after knee arthroplasty. While it remains unclear why some patients develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) despite similar operative procedures and the same prophylactic regimen, we presume one explanation would be genetic predisposition.
Questions/purposes
We determined the frequency of 12 factors including antithrombin III activity, prothrombin gene mutations, and the presence of phospholipid antibodies in a high-risk patient cohort and compared those findings with the known prevalence in the population at large.
Patients and Methods
Patients identified preoperatively as having a personal or familial history of DVT and/or PE were referred for hemostatic serum and genetic tests, including % antithrombin III activity (ATIII), protein C and protein S activities, APC resistance, Factor V gene (Leiden) mutations, prothrombin gene mutations, lupus anticoagulant antibody presence, cardiolipin antibody presence, phosphatidyl antibody presence, β2-glycoprotein antibody presence, and serum homocysteine and lipoprotein(a) levels The frequencies of varying abnormalities were identified and compared to the prevalence reported in the literature.
Results
Forty-three of 1944 patients undergoing knee arthroplasty had a history of DVT or PE. Sixteen of 43 (37%) patients had an abnormality and eight of these (19%) had two or more abnormalities. The frequency of nine of the 12 tests appeared to be greater in this cohort than in the population at large.
Conclusions
Patients with a personal or familial history of DVT or PE appear to have a high frequency of hereditary prothrombotic abnormalities. Preoperative evaluation by a hematologist may be warranted in patients with a personal or familial history of DVT or PE as the postoperative anticoagulation protocols may be altered and identification of these abnormalities may affect a patient’s risk for other disease states.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, diagnostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
doi:10.1007/s11999-010-1514-2
PMCID: PMC3008871  PMID: 20824408
7.  Deep venous thrombosis in the antenatal period in a large cohort of pregnancies from western India 
Thrombosis Journal  2007;5:9.
Background
Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is an important complication in the peripartal and postpartal period.
Methods
We followed up prospectively the prevalence of DVT in 34720 prenatal mothers between June 2002 and July 2006 attending the antenatal clinics of two major hospitals in Mumbai, India. Thirty two women (0.1%) presented for the first time with symptomatic DVT i.e. 17 in the first trimester, 6 in the second and 9 in the third trimester of pregnancy. Nine had history of fetal loss while in the remaining twenty three there was no history of fetal loss.
Results
The evaluation of both acquired and heritable thrombophilia showed a conglomeration of thrombophilia in this group when compared to 100 normal pregnant women who have given birth to at least one healthy baby with no history of fetal death, DVT or other obstetrical complications. The relative risks for all the antiphospholipid antibodies (APA) studied i.e lupus anticoagulant (LA), IgG/IgM antibodies for cardiolipin (ACA), β2 glycoprotein 1 (β2 GP 1) and annexin V were significantly higher in women with pregnancy associated DVT (RR 7.4 95% CI 4.3–11.3 P < 0.05). Among the genetic thrombophilia markers studied, Protein S (PS) deficiency was the strongest risk factor (RR 5.00 95% CI 3.02–5.00 P < 0.05) followed by factor V Leiden (FVL) mutation (RR 4.57 95% CI 2.23–4.57 P < 0.05) and PAI 4G/4G homozygosity (RR 3.24 95% CI 1.85–5.12 P < 0.05). Protein C (PC) and endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) 23 bp insertion polymorphism was also increased in the patient group as compared to controls but the difference was not statistically significant. The MTHFR C677T, fibrinogen gene β448 Arg/Lys polymorphisms were not significantly different from the normal controls, while antithrombin III (AT III) deficiency and PT G20210A polymorphism were absent in both controls and patients. Two or more risk factors were present in 22 out of 32 cases (68.75%).
Conclusion
We conclude that the prevalence of DVT in India is more or less similar to other reports published and both acquired and heritable thrombophilia show strong association with DVT associated with pregnancy.
doi:10.1186/1477-9560-5-9
PMCID: PMC1950495  PMID: 17610719
8.  Deep vein thrombosis in primary care: possible malignancy? 
Background
The increased prevalence of unrecognised malignancy in patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) has been well established in secondary care settings. However, data from primary care settings, needed to tailor the diagnostic workup, are lacking.
Aim
To quantify the prevalence of unrecognised malignancy in primary care patients who have been diagnosed with DVT.
Design
Prospective follow-up study.
Setting
All primary care physicians affiliated/associated with a non-teaching hospital in a geographically circumscribed region participated in the study.
Method
A total of 430 consecutive patients without known malignancy, but with proven DVT were included in the study and compared with a control group of 442 primary care patients, matched according to age and sex. Previously unrecognised, occult malignancy was considered present if a new malignancy was diagnosed within 2 years following DVT diagnosis (DVT group) or inclusion in the control group. Patients with DVT were categorised in to those with unprovoked idiopathic DVT and those with risk factors for DVT (that is, secondary DVT).
Results
During the 2-year follow-up period, a new malignancy was diagnosed 3.6 times more often in patients with idiopathic DVT than in the control group (2-year incidence: 7.4% and 2.0%, respectively). The incidence in patients with secondary DVT was 2.6%; only slightly higher than in control patients.
Conclusion
Unrecognised malignancies are more common in both primary and secondary care patients with DVT than in the general population. In particular, patients with idiopathic DVT are at risk and they could benefit from individualised case-finding to detect malignancy.
PMCID: PMC1876636  PMID: 16954002
deep vein thrombosis; idiopathic; neoplasms; primary health care
9.  Risk factors for peripheral venous disease resemble those for venous thrombosis: the San Diego Population Study 
Background
Clinically silent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is common and may cause chronic venous disease that resembles post-thrombotic syndrome.
Objective
We evaluated whether peripheral venous disease in a general population shares risk factors with DVT.
Methods
In an established cohort of 2,404 men and women, the San Diego Population Study, peripheral venous disease was evaluated using physical exam, symptom assessment, and venous ultrasound. We performed a case control study including 308 cases in 4 hierarchical groups by severity, and 346 controls without venous abnormalities, frequency matched to cases by 10-year age group, race and sex. Cases and controls had no prior history of venous thrombosis. Hemostatic risk factors were measured in cases and controls.
Results
Accounting for age, obesity and family history of leg ulcer, ORs for elevated factor VIII, von Willebrand factor, D-dimer, and for factor V Leiden were 1.4 (95% CI 0.9–2.1), 1.5 (CI 1.0–2.3), 1.7 (CI 1.1–2.8), and 1.1 (CI 0.5–2.4), respectively. These associations were larger in the two most severe case groups; ORs 2.0 (CI 1.0–3.8), 1.7 (CI 0.9–3.3), 2.7 (CI 1.2–6.1) and 2.3 (CI 0.8–7.1). Each hemostatic factor was also associated with severity of venous disease, for example elevated D-dimer was associated with a 2.2-fold increased odds of being in one higher severity group. Prothrombin 20210A was not associated with venous disease.
Conclusions
DVT risk factors are associated with presence and severity of peripheral venous disease. Results support a hypothesis that peripheral venous disease may sometimes be post-thrombotic syndrome due to previous unrecognized DVT.
doi:10.1111/j.1538-7836.2010.03924.x
PMCID: PMC2937057  PMID: 20492466
deep vein thrombosis; venous insufficiency; risk factors; epidemiology; blood coagulation
10.  Deep vein thrombosis in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis: a rare condition? 
Hepatology International  2010;4(1):433-438.
Purpose
Patients with liver cirrhosis are generally considered to be “auto-anticoagulated” because of coagulopathy and thrombocytopenia. However, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) has been reported in patients with liver cirrhosis. The objectives of this study were to know the prevalence of DVT among cirrhotic patients and to compare clinical pictures between cirrhotic patients with and without DVT.
Methods
A case–control study was performed on the basis of medical record data of patients with liver cirrhosis admitted between August 2004 and July 2007 in Medistra hospital in Jakarta. Diagnosis of DVT was established by duplex Doppler ultrasonography of the lower extremities. Patients with splanchnic thrombosis were excluded from this study. Diagnosis of liver cirrhosis was based on history and clinical manifestation, consistent with liver cirrhosis and confirmed by ultrasonography or computed tomography.
Results
A total of 256 patients with liver cirrhosis were included in this study; 164 (64.1%) among them were men. Patients’ mean age was 60.5 ± 12.5 years, ranging from 16 to 88 years. Viral hepatitis accounted for 74.6% of patients with liver cirrhosis. DVT was found in 12 (4.7%) patients. There was no significant laboratory difference between cirrhotic patients with and without DVT (serum albumin, platelet count, aminotransferases, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, alkaline phosphatase, total bilirubin levels, and prothrombin time). Diabetes mellitus was significantly higher in the DVT group than that in the control group (66.6 vs. 34.0%, P = 0.025). Multivariate analysis confirmed diabetes mellitus as an independent risk factor for the occurrence of DVT (odds ratio = 4.26; 95% confidence interval = 1.206–15.034; P = 0.024).
Conclusions
The prevalence of DVT in patients with liver cirrhosis was 4.7%, and Deep vein thrombosis is not a rare condition in cirrhotic patients with coagulopathy and warrants further studies on the mechanisms and prevention.
doi:10.1007/s12072-010-9166-6
PMCID: PMC2836440  PMID: 20305762
DVT; Liver cirrhosis; Autoanticoagulated; Coagulopathy
11.  Deep vein thrombosis: validation of a patient-reported leg symptom index 
Introduction
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious health problem that affects more than 2 million people annually in the United States. Many of these patients develop asymptomatic DVT, but months to years later may experience symptomatic post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). It is not known how many cases of PTS can be traced to "asymptomatic" DVT because venography is no longer routinely done and ultrasonography (US) may miss some asymptomatic clots. As a result, a clinical tool in addition to US to detect symptom emergence or exacerbation in patients after DVT would be of value.
Methods
Seventy-seven patients hospitalized with an acute DVT interviewed by telephone at 3–7 days, 30–40 days, and 12-months following discharge were included in this report. All were treated with a standard anticoagulation "Clinical Pathway Protocol" between April 1999 and January 2000. Using a 14-item Deep Vein Thrombosis Leg Symptom Index (DVT-LSI), patients were queried regarding leg pain, swelling, skin discoloration, cosmetic appearance, activity tolerance, emotional distress, and leg-related sleep problems.
Results
The DVT-LSI for each leg was reliable at all assessments, with instrument reliability (alpha coefficients) greater than 0.70 at all time points (range 0.71–0.87). DVT-LSI scores, and the percentage of patients exhibiting symptoms, were higher in the DVT-affected leg at all time points. Among patients with unilateral disease, symptom severity ratings were significantly worse for patients in the affected leg compared to the normal leg at all time points, with the exception of those with a right-leg DVT at 12 months. Patients with bilateral thrombi did not have different scores on one leg compared to the other.
Conclusion
The DVT-LSI is useful in assessing symptomatic clinical outcomes in patients after diagnosis of DVT, and may represent a surrogate marker for DVT otherwise presumed to be asymptomatic.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-1-76
PMCID: PMC317368  PMID: 14675486
12.  The Anticoagulation of Calf Thrombosis (ACT) project: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2012;13:31.
Background
Half of all lower limb deep vein thrombi (DVT) in symptomatic ambulatory patients are located in the distal (calf) veins. While proximal disease warrants therapeutic anticoagulation to reduce the associated risks, distal DVT often goes untreated. However, a proportion of untreated distal disease will undoubtedly propagate or embolize. Concern also exists that untreated disease could lead to long-term post thrombotic changes. Currently, it is not possible to predict which distal thrombi will develop such complications. Whether these potential risks outweigh those associated with unrestricted anticoagulation remains unclear. The Anticoagulation of Calf Thrombosis (ACT) trial aims to compare therapeutic anticoagulation against conservative management for patients with acute symptomatic distal deep vein thrombosis.
Methods
ACT is a pragmatic, open-label, randomized controlled trial. Adult patients diagnosed with acute distal DVT will be allocated to either therapeutic anticoagulation or conservative management. All patients will undergo 3 months of clinical and assessor blinded sonographic follow-up, followed by 2-year final review. The project will commence initially as an external pilot study, recruiting over a 16-month period at a single center to assess feasibility measures and clinical event rates. Primary outcome measures will assess feasibility endpoints. Secondary clinical outcomes will be collected to gather accurate data for the design of a definitive clinical trial and will include: (1) a composite endpoint combining thrombus propagation to the popliteal vein or above, development of symptomatic pulmonary embolism or sudden death attributable to venous thromboembolic disease; (2) the incidence of major and minor bleeding episodes; (3) the incidence of post-thrombotic leg syndrome at 2 years using a validated screening tool; and (4) the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) recurrence at 2 years.
Discussion
The ACT trial will explore the feasibility of comparing therapeutic anticoagulation to conservative management in acute distal DVT, within a modern cohort. We also aim to provide contemporary data on clot propagation, bleeding rates and long-term outcomes within both groups. These results will inform the conduct of a definitive study if feasibility is established.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN75175695
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-31
PMCID: PMC3356237  PMID: 22472294
Anticoagulants; embolism; lower extremity; venous thrombosis
13.  Using High-Throughput Sequencing to Leverage Surveillance of Genetic Diversity and Oseltamivir Resistance: A Pilot Study during the 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) Pandemic 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e67010.
Background
Influenza viruses display a high mutation rate and complex evolutionary patterns. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been widely used for qualitative and semi-quantitative assessment of genetic diversity in complex biological samples. The “deep sequencing” approach, enabled by the enormous throughput of current NGS platforms, allows the identification of rare genetic viral variants in targeted genetic regions, but is usually limited to a small number of samples.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We designed a proof-of-principle study to test whether redistributing sequencing throughput from a high depth-small sample number towards a low depth-large sample number approach is feasible and contributes to influenza epidemiological surveillance. Using 454-Roche sequencing, we sequenced at a rather low depth, a 307 bp amplicon of the neuraminidase gene of the Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic (A(H1N1)pdm) virus from cDNA amplicons pooled in 48 barcoded libraries obtained from nasal swab samples of infected patients (n  =  299) taken from May to November, 2009 pandemic period in Mexico. This approach revealed that during the transition from the first (May-July) to second wave (September-November) of the pandemic, the initial genetic variants were replaced by the N248D mutation in the NA gene, and enabled the establishment of temporal and geographic associations with genetic diversity and the identification of mutations associated with oseltamivir resistance.
Conclusions
NGS sequencing of a short amplicon from the NA gene at low sequencing depth allowed genetic screening of a large number of samples, providing insights to viral genetic diversity dynamics and the identification of genetic variants associated with oseltamivir resistance. Further research is needed to explain the observed replacement of the genetic variants seen during the second wave. As sequencing throughput rises and library multiplexing and automation improves, we foresee that the approach presented here can be scaled up for global genetic surveillance of influenza and other infectious diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067010
PMCID: PMC3699567  PMID: 23843978
14.  SNPs in VKORC1 are Risk Factors for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Asians 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2013;65(1):211-215.
OBJECTIVE
The increased risk of thrombosis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may be partially explained by interrelated genetic pathways for thrombosis and SLE. In a case-control analysis, we investigated whether 33 established and novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in 20 genes involved in hemostasis pathways that have been associated with deep venous thrombosis in the general population were risk factors for SLE development among Asians.
METHODS
Patients in the discovery cohort were enrolled in one of two North American SLE cohorts. Patients in the replication cohort were enrolled in one of four Asian or two North American cohorts. SLE cases met American College of Rheumatology classification criteria. We first genotyped 263 Asian SLE and 357 healthy Asian control individuals for 33 SNPs using Luminex multiplex technology in the discovery phase, and then used Taqman and Immunochip assays to examine 5 SNPs in up to an additional 1496 cases and 993 controls in the Replication phase. SLE patients were compared to healthy controls for association with minor alleles in allelic models. Principal components analysis was used to control for intra-Asian ancestry in an analysis of the replication cohort.
RESULTS
Two genetic variants in the gene VKORC1, rs9934438 and rs9923231, were highly significant in both the discovery and replication cohorts: OR(disc) = 2.45 (p=2×10−9), OR(rep) = 1.53 (p=5×10−6) and OR(disc) = 2.40 (p=6×10−9), OR(rep) = 1.53 (p=5×10−6), respectively. These associations were significant in the replication cohort after adjustment for intra-Asian ancestry: rs9934438 OR(adj) = 1.34 (p=0.0029) and rs9923231 OR(adj) = 1.34 (p=0.0032).
CONCLUSION
Genetic variants in VKORC1, involved in vitamin K reduction and associated with DVT, are associated with SLE development in Asians. These results suggest intersecting genetic pathways for the development of SLE and thrombosis.
doi:10.1002/art.37751
PMCID: PMC3670944  PMID: 23124848
systemic lupus erythematosus; single nucleotide polymorphisms; genetic risk factors
15.  Traumatic deep vein thrombosis in a soccer player: A case study 
Thrombosis Journal  2004;2:8.
A 42 year-old male former semi-professional soccer player sustained a right lower extremity popliteal contusion during a soccer game. He was clinically diagnosed with a possible traumatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and sent for confirmatory tests. A duplex doppler ultrasound was positive for DVT, and the patient was admitted to hospital for anticoagulation (unfractionated heparin, warfarin). Upon discharge from hospital the patient continued oral warfarin anticoagulation (six months), and the use of compression stockings (nine months). He followed up with his family doctor at regular intervals for serial coagulation measurements, and ultrasound examinations. The patient's only identified major thrombotic risk factor was the traumatic injury. One year after the initial deep vein thrombosis (DVT) the patient returned to contact sport, however he continued to have intermittent symptoms of right lower leg pain and right knee effusion.
Athletes can develop vascular injuries in a variety of contact and non-contact sports. Trauma is one of the most common causes of lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), however athletic injuries involving lower extremity traumatic DVT are seldom reported. This diagnosis and the associated risk factors must be considered during the initial physical examination. The primary method of radiological diagnosis of lower extremity DVT is a complete bilateral duplex sonography, which can be augmented by other methods such as evidence-based risk factor analysis. Antithrombotic medication is the current standard of treatment for DVT. Acute thrombolytic treatment has demonstrated an improved therapeutic efficacy, and a decrease in post-DVT symptoms.
There is a lack of scientific literature concerning the return to sport protocol following a DVT event. Athletic individuals who desire to return to sport after a DVT need to be fully informed about their treatment and risk of reoccurrence, so that appropriate decisions can be made.
doi:10.1186/1477-9560-2-8
PMCID: PMC526763  PMID: 15485571
16.  Circulating Progenitor and Mature Endothelial Cells in Deep Vein Thrombosis 
Introduction: Mature circulating endothelial cells (CEC) and circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) have been described in several conditions associated with endothelial injury. Their role in deep vein thrombosis (DVT) has not been previously evaluated. Patients and Methods: In this pilot study we evaluated the time course of CEC and EPC release after vena cava experimental DVT in mice, using the FeCl3 model. We also evaluated their presence in patients with DVT at different phases of the disease (acute and chronic phase). CEC and EPC were evaluated by Flow Cytometry. Results: In mice, both CEC and EPC were increased 24 hours after DVT induction, peaking 48 hours thereafter. After 72 hours, CEC counts decreased sharply, whereas EPC counts decreased less substantially. In DVT patients we observed a significant increase in CEC counts immediately after DVT compared to healthy individuals. Patients with chronic disease also presented a significant elevation of these cell count. In a subgroup of patients for whom serial samples were available, CEC counts decreased significantly after 9-15 months of the acute event. Conclusions: Our results suggest the participation of these cells in the reparative processes that follows DVT, both at immediate and late time-points. The different kinetics of CEC and EPC release in experimental DVT suggests a heterogeneous role for these cells in the reparative events after DVT.
doi:10.7150/ijms.6887
PMCID: PMC3805926  PMID: 24155660
progenitor endothelial cells; mature endothelial cells; flow cytometry; deep vein thrombosis; DVT animal model.
17.  Diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis, and prevention of deep vein thrombosis recurrence and the post-thrombotic syndrome in the primary care medicine setting anno 2014 
The requirement for a safe diagnostic strategy of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) should be based on an overall objective post incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) of less than 1% during 3 mo follow-up. Compression ultrasonography (CUS) of the leg veins has a negative predictive value (NPV) of 97%-98% indicating the need of repeated CUS testing within one week. A negative ELISA VIDAS safely excludes DVT and VTE with a NPV between 99% and 100% at a low clinical score of zero. The combination of low clinical score and a less sensitive D-dimer test (Simplify) is not sensitive enough to exclude DVT and VTE in routine daily practice. From prospective clinical research studies it may be concluded that complete recanalization within 3 mo and no reflux is associated with a low or no risk of PTS obviating the need of MECS 6 mo after DVT. Partial and complete recanalization after 3 to more than 6 mo is usually complicated by reflux due to valve destruction and symptomatic PTS. Reflux seems to be a main determinant for PTS and DVT recurrence, the latter as a main contributing factor in worsening PTS. This hypothesis is supported by the relation between the persistent residual vein thrombosis (RVT = partial recanalization) and the risk of VTE recurrence in prospective studies. Absence of RVT at 3 mo post-DVT and no reflux is predicted to be associated with no recurrence of DVT (1.2%) during follow-up obviating the need of wearing medical elastic stockings and anticoagulation at 6 mo post-DVT. The presence or absence of RVT but with reflux at 3 to 6 mo post-DVT is associated with both symptomatic PTS and an increased risk of VTE recurrence in about one third in the post-DVT period after regular discontinuation of anticoagulant treatment. To test this hypothesis we designed a prospective DVT and postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) Bridging the Gap Study by addressing at least four unanswered questions in the treatment of DVT and PTS. Which DVT patient has a clear indication for long-term compression stocking therapy to prevent PTS after the initial anticoagulant treatment in the acute phase of DVT? Is 3 mo the appropriate point in time to determine candidates at risk to develop DVT recurrence and PTS? Which high risk symptomatic PTS patients need extended anticoagulant treatment?
doi:10.5492/wjccm.v4.i1.29
PMCID: PMC4326761
Deep Venous thrombosis; Ultrasonography; Post-thrombotic syndrome; ELISA VIDAS D-dimer; Medical elastic stockings; Anticoagulation
18.  Risk Factors and Underlying Mechanisms for Venous Stasis Syndrome: A Population-Based Case-Control Study 
Background
Venous stasis syndrome may complicate deep vein thrombosis (DVT; i.e., post-phlebitic syndrome), but in most cases, venous stasis syndrome is not post-phlebitic.
Objective
To determine risk factors (including prior DVT) for venous stasis syndrome, and to assess venous outflow obstruction and venous valvular incompetence as possible mechanisms for venous stasis syndrome.
Design
Case-control study nested within a population-based inception cohort.
Population
232 Olmsted County, MN residents with a first lifetime venous thromboembolism (VTE), and 133 residents without VTE.
Measurements
Questionnaire and physical examination for venous stasis syndrome; strain gauge outflow plethysmography, venous continuous wave Doppler ultrasonography and passive venous drainage and refill testing for venous outflow obstruction and venous valvular incompetence.
Results
Altogether, 161 (44%), 43 (12%), and 136 (38%) subjects respectively, had venous stasis syndrome, venous outflow obstruction and venous valvular incompetence. Independent risk factors for venous stasis syndrome included increasing patient age and body mass index (BMI), prior DVT, longer time interval since DVT, and varicose veins. Both venous outflow obstruction (p=0.003) and venous valvular incompetence (p<0.0001) were strongly associated with venous stasis syndrome. Increasing age and prior DVT were significantly associated with venous outflow obstruction, while prior DVT, varicose veins and venous stasis syndrome diagnosed prior to the incident DVT were significantly associated with venous valvular incompetence. The risks of venous outflow obstruction, venous valvular incompetence and venous stasis syndrome were higher with left leg DVT.
Conclusions
Increasing patient age and BMI, prior DVT (particularly left leg DVT), longer time interval since DVT and varicose veins are independent risk factors for venous stasis syndrome. Venous stasis syndrome related to DVT is due to venous outflow obstruction and venous valvular incompetence, while venous stasis syndrome related to older age and to varicose veins is due to venous outflow obstruction and to venous valvular incompetence, respectively.
doi:10.1177/1358863X09104222
PMCID: PMC2990921  PMID: 19808719
Deep Vein Thrombosis; Venous Thromboembolism; Venous Stasis Syndrome; Post Thrombotic Syndrome; Risk Factors; Epidemiology
19.  Elevated risk of thrombophilia in agenesis of the vena cava as a factor for deep vein thrombosis 
Background
Congenital absence of the inferior vena cava (AIVC) is a rare malformation which may be associated with an increased risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). However, the role of thrombophilia in AIVC and DVT is unknown.
Methods
Between 1982 and 2013 41 patients (12 female, 29 male, mean age 28 S.D. 11 years) were detected at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany, with AIVC. Based on medical history, clinical examination, imaging and coagulation studies, we performed on this collective a risk characterisation. Extensive literature research added further 123 published cases during 1993 and 2013. AIVC-patients were compared with iliocaval DVT-patients without AIVC (n = 168) treated during the same period in our clinic (90 female, 78 male, mean age 38 S.D. 17 years).
Results
In contrast to classical DVT younger men were more often affected. Factor-V-Leiden-mutation, 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphism and hyperhomocysteinemia individually are associated with an increased risk of DVT in patients with AIVC. Aplasia/hypoplasia of the right or left kidney is also associated with IVCA.
Conclusions
AIVC should be considered in young patients who present with DVT involving the vena cava. Analysis of publications with AIVC and our patients yielded a typical spectrum of AIVC-associated DVT characteristics: AIVC occurs in young male adults, is revealed by proximal DVT, not necessarily accused by precipitating factors like immobilisation, and is mostly located bilateral. Hereditary coagulation abnormalities seem to be more often a contributing factor for DVT in AIVC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13023-014-0223-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13023-014-0223-4
PMCID: PMC4308084  PMID: 25604085
Vena cava anomaly; Agenesis; Deep venous thrombosis; Thrombophilia
20.  Genomic DNA Pooling Strategy for Next-Generation Sequencing-Based Rare Variant Discovery in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Regions of Interest—Challenges and Limitations 
The costs and efforts for sample preparation of hundreds of individuals, their genomic enrichment for regions of interest, and sufficient deep sequencing bring a significant burden to next-generation sequencing-based experiments. We investigated whether pooling of samples at the level of genomic DNA would be a more versatile strategy for lowering the costs and efforts for common disease-associated rare variant detection in candidate genes or associated loci in a substantial patient cohort. We performed a pilot experiment using five pools of 20 abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) patients that were enriched on separate microarrays for the reported 9p21.3 associated locus and 42 additional AAA candidate genes, and sequenced on the SOLiD platform. Here, we discuss challenges and limitations connected to this approach and show that the high number of novel variants detected per pool and allele frequency deviations to the usually highly false positive cut-off region for variant detection in non-pooled samples can be limiting factors for successful variant prioritization and confirmation. We conclude that barcode indexing of individual samples before pooling followed by a multiplexed enrichment strategy should be preferred for detection of rare genetic variants in larger sample sets rather than a genomic DNA pooling strategy.
doi:10.1007/s12265-011-9263-5
PMCID: PMC3099005  PMID: 21360310
Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Common disease; Rare variants; Targeted genomic enrichment; Genomic DNA pooling; SOLiD next-generation sequencing
21.  Delineating the Hemostaseome as an aid to individualize the analysis of the hereditary basis of thrombotic and bleeding disorders 
Human genetics  2011;130(1):149-166.
Next-generation sequencing and genome-wide association studies represent powerful tools to identify genetic variants that confer disease risk within populations. On their own, however, they cannot provide insight into how these variants contribute to individual risk for diseases that exhibit complex inheritance, or alternatively confer health in a given individual. Even in the case of well-characterized variants that confer a significant disease risk, more healthy individuals carry the variant, with no apparent ill effect, than those who manifest disease. Access to low-cost genome sequence data promises to provide an unprecedentedly detailed view of the nature of the hereditary component of complex diseases, but requires the large-scale comparison of sequence data from individuals with and without disease to deliver a clinical calibration. The provision of informatics support remains problematic as there are currently no means to interpret the data generated. Here, we initiate this process, a prerequisite for such a study, by narrowing the focus from an entire genome to that of a single biological system. To this end, we examine the `Hemostaseome,' and more specifically focus on DNA sequence changes pertaining to those human genes known to impact upon hemostasis and thrombosis that can be analyzed coordinately, and on an individual basis, to interrogate how specific combinations of variants act to confer disease predisposition. As a first step, we delineate known members of the Hemostaseome and explore the nature of the genetic variants that may cause disease in individuals whose hemostatic balance has become shifted toward either a prothrombotic or anticoagulant phenotype.
doi:10.1007/s00439-011-0984-y
PMCID: PMC3136392  PMID: 21537949
22.  Prothrombin Gene G20210A Mutation in Acute Deep Venous Thrombosis Patients with Poor Response to Warfarin Therapy 
Aim:
The pathogenesis of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) involves an interaction between hereditary and acquired factors. Prothrombin gene mutation is one of the hereditary risk factors. We evaluated the frequency of the prothrombin gene mutation in patients with DVT and its relation to oral warfarin anticoagulant therapy response.
Methods:
Prothrombin gene mutation was looked for in 40 DVT patients with poor response to warfarin. The results were compared with 40 DVT patients with a normal response to warfarin and 30 healthy blood donors. Blood samples were also assessed for protein C, protein S, anti-thrombin III and anticardiolipin antibodies (ACA) levels.
Results:
Prothrombin gene mutation was found in normal and poor DVT responders (6/40 and 13/40, respectively; p = NS) as well as in healthy controls (1/30). Patients with recurrent DVT or a family history of DVT were significantly (p<0.0001) more likely to have the prothrombin mutation than other DVT patients. Non prothrombin abnormalities (protein C, anti-thrombin III and ACA) were more common in poor responders than controls (p<0.0037) as were ACA (p<0.034).
Conclusions:
Prothrombin gene mutation is present in several DVT patients, especially those with recurrent DVT or a family history of DVT. This mutation may contribute to a poor response to warfarin.
doi:10.2174/1874192400903010147
PMCID: PMC2778014  PMID: 19920886
Deep venous thrombosis; gene mutation; prothrombin; warfarin.
23.  Should symptomatic, isolated distal deep vein thrombosis be treated with anticoagulation? 
BACKGROUND:
During the past two decades, the diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) has made considerable progress. The term distal or calf vein thrombosis includes thrombosis in infrapopliteal veins, including the posterior tibial, peroneal, anterior tibial and muscular calf veins. The necessity of treating of distal DVT is debatable.
OBJECTIVE:
To determine whether treatment of isolated, distal DVT with anticoagulation versus no treatment affects patient outcome.
METHODS:
All patients discharged with a diagnosis of distal DVT from Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore, between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2007, were identified by the medical records office of the hospital. Compression of the intraluminal thrombus by duplex scan was used to diagnose distal DVT. Excluded were patients who either had both distal and proximal DVT, or had distal DVT along with pulmonary embolism (PE) at presentation.
Complete resolution of distal DVT on repeat duplex scan was used to measure the primary outcome. Repeat follow-up scans were performed at two weeks, one month, three months and six months, or on subsequent follow-up until the distal DVT had resolved completely.
Secondary outcome measures were complete improvement of symptoms, progression of thrombosis, or PE or death during the follow-up period.
The study included 68 patients with distal DVT; however, 17 patients with PE, two of whom had proximal DVT (in the iliac and common femoral veins) at the first presentation along with distal DVT, were excluded from the study. In total, 51 patients were included for analysis. The follow-up scan was available in 35 patients; therefore, the primary analysis was performed in 35 patients (47 incidences of distal DVT). However, the secondary analysis was available in all 51 patients.
Of the 35 patients available for follow-up scans, 17 patients (25 incidences of distal DVT) received anticoagulation and 18 patients (22 incidences of distal DVT) received no anticoagulation.
Of the 17 patients who were treated with anticoagulation, nine patients (13 incidences of distal DVT) received enoxaparin at a dose of 1 mg/kg twice a day for two weeks and eight patients (12 incidences of distal DVT) received warfarin for a period of three months with initial overlap of enoxaparin 1 mg/kg twice a day for three to five days. Once the prothrombin time international normalized ratio of a patient on warfarin was between 2 and 3, enoxaparin was discontinued. The 18 patients who did not receive anticoagulation received follow-up with regular duplex scan.
RESULTS:
There were no statistically significant differences among the groups in the resolution of distal DVT or symptom improvement with or without treatment. In the group that received no treatment, one death occurred. Proximal extension and PE were not recorded in any of the patients.
CONCLUSION:
Distal DVT may not require treatment with anticoagulation. If leg symptoms worsen, or if there is an extension of distal DVT on the follow-up scan, treatment with anticoagulation is recommended.
PMCID: PMC2780853  PMID: 22477500
Anticoagulation; Distal; DVT; Symptomatic; Ultrasound
24.  Monocytes, neutrophils, and platelets cooperate to initiate and propagate venous thrombosis in mice in vivo 
Deep vein thrombosis initiation is mediated by cross talk between monocytes, neutrophils, and platelets.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a major cause of cardiovascular death. The sequence of events that promote DVT remains obscure, largely as a result of the lack of an appropriate rodent model. We describe a novel mouse model of DVT which reproduces a frequent trigger and resembles the time course, histological features, and clinical presentation of DVT in humans. We demonstrate by intravital two-photon and epifluorescence microscopy that blood monocytes and neutrophils crawling along and adhering to the venous endothelium provide the initiating stimulus for DVT development. Using conditional mutants and bone marrow chimeras, we show that intravascular activation of the extrinsic pathway of coagulation via tissue factor (TF) derived from myeloid leukocytes causes the extensive intraluminal fibrin formation characteristic of DVT. We demonstrate that thrombus-resident neutrophils are indispensable for subsequent DVT propagation by binding factor XII (FXII) and by supporting its activation through the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Correspondingly, neutropenia, genetic ablation of FXII, or disintegration of NETs each confers protection against DVT amplification. Platelets associate with innate immune cells via glycoprotein Ibα and contribute to DVT progression by promoting leukocyte recruitment and stimulating neutrophil-dependent coagulation. Hence, we identified a cross talk between monocytes, neutrophils, and platelets responsible for the initiation and amplification of DVT and for inducing its unique clinical features.
doi:10.1084/jem.20112322
PMCID: PMC3328366  PMID: 22451716
25.  Deep vein thrombosis after total hip and knee arthroplasty in Indian patients 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2004;80(950):729-731.
Background: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is one of the most common complications of total hip (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Though the reported incidence of DVT is very high, that of proximal DVT is low and that of fatal thromboembolism is very low. Hence the issue of prophylaxis for DVT remains controversial.
The incidence of DVT is based on various studies in European and American populations. The Asian population is genetically and socially quite different from American and European populations, and the incidence of DVT can be quite different. Therefore a prospective study was initiated at our centre to determine incidence of DVT after THA and TKA in Indian patients.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted on 60 hips in 45 patients and 46 knees in 26 patients who underwent THA and TKA respectively, without any known risk factors for thromboembolic disease. DVT was studied by preoperative and postoperative serial colour Doppler ultrasonography. No prophylaxis was given to any of the patients.
Results: DVT was found in two patients who had undergone THA. No case of DVT was detected in any patient who had undergone TKA.
Conclusion: These results suggest that the incidence of DVT in Indian patients is very low and is not comparable with American and European populations. It is therefore not cost effective to advise prophylaxis in Indian patients undergoing THA/TKA who have no known risk factors for DVT.
doi:10.1136/pgmj.2003.018127
PMCID: PMC1743161  PMID: 15579615

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