What is the prognosis of venous thromboembolism (VTE)?

Updated: Nov 05, 2020
  • Author: Vera A De Palo, MD, MBA, FCCP; Chief Editor: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS, FAOA, FABOS, FAAOS  more...
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Thromboembolic disease accounts for approximately a quarter of a million hospitalizations in the United States annually and for about 5-10% of all deaths.

About one third of PE cases are fatal. Of these, 67% are not diagnosed ante mortem, and 34% occur rapidly. A high rate of clinically unsuspected DVT and PE leads to significant diagnostic and therapeutic delays, and this accounts for substantial morbidity and mortality.

Studies demonstrate a 95% risk reduction with treatment of thromboembolic disease. There is, however, a risk of recurrence following the discontinuance of treatment that is related to the type and number of risk factors the patient has and whether they persist following completion of treatment. Some 5-7% of all recurrences are fatal.

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