What is the role of anticoagulant therapy in the treatment of deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: Donald Schreiber, MD, CM; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

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. Meta-analyses of randomized trials of unfractionated heparin (UFH) and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) have shown that they are similar, with a 4% risk of recurrent DVT, a 2% risk of pulmonary embolism (PE), and a 3% risk of major bleeding. [1, 2]


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