What are the risks and benefits of anticoagulant therapy for deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Anticoagulant therapy remains the mainstay of medical therapy for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) because it is noninvasive, it treats most patients (approximately 90%) with no immediate demonstrable physical sequelae of DVT, it has a low risk of complications, and its outcome data demonstrate an improvement in morbidity and mortality. Long-term anticoagulation is necessary to prevent the high frequency of recurrent venous thrombosis or thromboembolic events. Anticoagulation does have problems. Although it inhibits propagation, it does not remove the thrombus, and a variable risk of clinically significant bleeding is observed.


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