How is thromboembolism prevented in patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)?

Updated: May 04, 2018
  • Author: Michael T Andary, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Answer

Venous thromboembolism is one of the major sequelae of extremity paralysis. Time to development of DVT or pulmonary embolism varies from 4-67 days following symptom onset. [3] Prophylaxis with gradient compression hose and subcutaneous LMWH may dramatically reduce the incidence of venous thromboembolism. [3]

True gradient compression stockings (30-40 mm Hg or higher) are highly elastic and provide compression along a gradient that is highest at the toes and gradually decreases to the level of the thigh. This reduces capacity venous volume by approximately 70% and increases the measured velocity of blood flow in the deep veins by a factor of 5 or more.

The ubiquitous white stockings known as antiembolic stockings or thromboembolic disease (TED) hose produce a maximum compression of 18 mm Hg and rarely are fitted in such a way as to provide adequate gradient compression. They have not been shown to be effective as prophylaxis against thromboembolism.


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