Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, NEJM / 12.08.2020 Interview with: Elizabeth Webb, M.P.H Physiotherapy Department Calvary Public Hospital Bruce Bruce, Australia What is the background for this study? Response: Our study showed that in patients with a history of leg swelling (chronic edema), compression therapy by a skilled lymphedema therapist reduced the risk of infection in the leg (cellulitis) by a huge 77%. With up to 47% of patients experiencing recurrence of cellulitis in their legs within 3 years, this result is a game-changer in terms of our approach to managing patients with leg swelling and recurrent cellulitis. Until now, the use of prophylactic antibiotics to prevent cellulitis has been the only evidence-based practice. We know however, there are many reasons why avoidance of antibiotics is important within our community. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Clots, Clots - Coagulation, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 29.05.2020 Interview with: Dr Tristan Morichau-Beauchant, MD. Intensive Care Unit Centre Cardiologique du Nord Saint-Denis, France What is the background for this study? Response: During the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in France, early reports on severe patients stated a highly increased inflammatory response associated with procoagulant changes in coagulation pathways and high D-Dimer levels. Preliminary reports from the intensive care community signaled frequent events of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) among this population. We decided to perform prospectively a venous ultrasonogram of the inferior limbs for all patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia at admission in our ICU.  All patients had acute respiratory distress syndrome according to the Berlin definition an required mechanical ventilation. Considering the high prevalence of venous thrombosis at admission we repeated a venous ultrasonography after 48 hours if the first exam was normal. All patients received standard anticoagulant prophylaxis since hospital admission. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, NEJM, Thromboembolism / 02.04.2019 Interview with: Yaseen M. Arabi, M.D Intensive Care Department Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs Riyadh, Saudi Arabia What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Venous thromboembolism, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is a complication of critical illness. Studies have demonstrated that despite pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis with unfractionated heparin or low-molecular weight heparin, 5-20% of critically ill patients develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The PREVENT trial evaluated whether adjunctive intermittent pneumatic compression reduces incident proximal lower limb DVT as detected on twice-weekly lower limb ultrasonography in critically ill patients receiving pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis with unfractionated heparin or low-molecular-weight heparin. The trial was conducted in 20 sites in Saudi Arabia, Canada, Australia and India and included 2003 patients. The trial found no difference in the primary end point of proximal leg DVT. The addition of intermittent pneumatic compression to pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis did not result in a lower incidence of pulmonary embolism or a composite outcome of venous thromboembolism or death from any cause at 28 days when compared to pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Duke, Heart Disease, NEJM / 21.03.2019 Interview with: Renato D. Lopes MD, MHS, PhD Professor of Medicine Division of Cardiology Duke University Medical Center Duke Clinical Research Institute What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), approximately 20% to 30% of those with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) have concomitant coronary artery disease (CAD), and 5 to 10% of patients who undergo PCI have NVAF. These patients often receive both antiplatelet therapy and oral anticoagulants; and how best to combine these agents to minimize bleeding risk without compromising protection against thrombosis is an important unanswered question. Analysis of results for bleeding indicated no significant interaction between the two randomization factors permitting independent analysis of results for the two key comparisons. The first showed that apixaban was both non-inferior and significantly superior to VKA for the primary outcome with a 31% reduction in the relative risk for bleeding. Aspirin significantly increased the relative risk for bleeding versus placebo by 89%. Results for the composite of death and hospitalization showed that apixaban resulted in a relative risk reduction of 17%, primarily driven by a reduction in all cause hospitalization. There was no significant difference between results for aspirin versus placebo for this outcome. Analysis of the composite of death and ischemic events indicated no significant differences in results for apixaban versus VKA or aspirin versus placebo. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Hormone Therapy, Menopause, Thromboembolism / 11.01.2019 Interview with: Yana Vinogradova, PhD Research Fellow Department of Primary Care School of Medicine University of Nottingham University Park, Nottingham What is the background for this study?   Response: The study targeted middle age women going through menopause.  This is the stage of life when women naturally reach the end of their reproductive life and their hormones gradually decrease.  Some women experience unpleasant effects such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, memory and concentration loss, headaches.  Quality of life may be severely affected.  Hormone replacement therapy uses a class of drugs, which, like all drugs, have side effects.   VTE is a serious side effect which can have a lethal outcome. There are different preparations of hormones available for such women.  Some of them were extensively studied in a large American Trial Women’s Health Initiative and showed the risk of VTE to be twice as high for women who took them.  However, these well-studied drugs are mostly prescribed in America.  The more popular drugs in Europe and the UK have been much less studied, so it was unclear how they compared.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Hematology, J&J-Janssen / 04.12.2018 Interview with: Paul Burton MD, PhD, FACC Vice President, Medical Affairs Internal Medicine Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC. What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is complicated among morbidly obese patients. Current guidelines do not recommend use of Factor Xa inhibitors in these patients due to limited clinical data available. That's why Janssen undertook this study to examine XARELTO® (rivaroxaban) in these patients. In this 5,780-patient retrospective study, results found patients treated with XARELTO® had a similar risk of recurrent VTE and major bleeding compared to those taking warfarin. However, treatment with XARELTO® was associated with less all-cause health care resource utilization (HCRU) (e.g., inpatient hospitalizations and outpatient visits) and reduced total medical costs compared to warfarin. Of note, patients taking XARELTO® had an average $2,829 lower total medical costs per patient per year (PPPY) than those taking warfarin, which was mainly driven by lower hospitalization costs. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Blood Clots, Emergency Care, Kaiser Permanente, Pulmonary Disease, UC Davis / 13.11.2018 Interview with: David R. Vinson, MD Department of Emergency Medicine Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center Sacramento, CA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: At least one-third of emergency department (ED) patients with acute blood clots in the lung, or pulmonary embolism (PE), are eligible for expedited discharged to home, either directly from the ED or after a short (<24 hour) period of observation. Yet in in most hospitals in the U.S. and around the world nearly all ED patients with acute PE are hospitalized. These unnecessary hospitalizations are a poor use of health care resources, tie up inpatient beds, and expose patients to the cost, inconvenience, and risk of inpatient care. The better-performing medical centers have two characteristics in common: they help their physicians identify which PE patients are candidates for outpatient care and they facilitate timely post-discharge follow-up. At Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), we have had the follow-up system in place for some time, but didn’t have a way to help our physicians sort out which patients with acute PE would benefit from home management. To correct this, we designed a secure, web-based clinical decision support system that was integrated with the electronic health record. When activated, it presented to the emergency physician the validated PE Severity Index, which uses patient demographics, vital signs, examination findings, and past medical history to classify patients into different risk strata, correlated with eligibility for home care. To make use of the PE Severity Index easier and more streamlined for the physician, the tool drew in information from the patient’s comprehensive medical records to accurately auto-populate the PE Severity Index. The tool then calculated for the physician the patient’s risk score and estimated 30-day mortality, and also offered a site-of-care recommendation, for example, “outpatient management is often possible.” The tool also reminded the physician of relative contraindications to outpatient management. At the time, only 10 EDs in KPNC had an on-site physician researcher, who for this study served as physician educator, study promotor, and enrollment auditor to provide physician-specific feedback. These 10 EDs functioned as the intervention sites, while the other 11 EDs within KPNC served as concurrent controls. Our primary outcome was the percentage of eligible ED patients with acute PE who had an expedited discharge to home, as defined above. During the 16-month study period (8-month pre-intervention and 8-months post-intervention), we cared for 1,703 eligible ED patients with acute PE. Adjusted home discharge increased at intervention sites from 17% to 28%, a greater than 60% relative increase. There were no changes in home discharge observed at the control sites (about 15% throughout the 16-month study). The increase in home discharge was not associated with an increase in short-term return visits or major complications.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Thromboembolism, University of Michigan / 31.05.2018 Interview with: Paul Grant, MD Associate Professor of Medicine Associate Chief Medical Information Officer Director, Perioperative and Consultative Medicine Division of Hospital Medicine Department of Internal Medicine Michigan Medicine University of Michigan What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is well known that hospitalized medical patients are at risk for venous thromboembolism VTE, but the severity of patient risk can vary significantly. National guidelines have consistently stated that low-risk patients should not receive VTE prophylaxis beyond early ambulation. In this retrospective cohort study, we analyzed data from 52 hospitals participating in the Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety consortium. Trained medical record abstractors at each hospital collected data from 44,775 medical patients including VTE risk factors, type of VTE prophylaxis administered, and contraindications to pharmacologic prophylaxis. Individual patient risk of VTE was determined using the Padua risk assessment model. Of the 32,549 low-risk patients, 77.9% received excess venous thromboembolism prophylaxis as either pharmacologic prophylaxis (30.6%), mechanical prophylaxis (20.8%), or both (26.5%). In the 12,226 high-risk patients, VTE prophylaxis was underused in 22% of patients. The rates of inappropriate prophylaxis varied considerably by hospital.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Circulation Issues, Clots - Coagulation, JAMA / 27.02.2018 Interview with: Shyueluen Chang MD Phlebologist with Dermatologist background Vein Clinic, Department of Dermatology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Taoyuan, Taiwan What is the background for this study?   Response: Varicose veins are common, with about 23 percent of U.S. adults having the condition, but they are rarely thought to be associated with serious health risks. In contrast, venous thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and peripheral artery disease (PAD) are also vascular diseases that are associated with serious systemic effects. Not much is known about varicose veins and the risk of other vascular diseases. Elucidating potential associations between varicose veins and health-threatening diseases is important. Partner's note: Understanding the broader impact of vascular diseases can provide valuable insights into the risks associated with varicose veins. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 17.05.2017 Interview with: Alan Cook, MD, FACS Director, Trauma Research Program Chandler Regional Medical Center Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix Chandler, AZ 85224 and Frederick B. Rogers MD, MS, FACS Trauma Surgeon Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine Adjunct Professor of Surgery University of Pennsylvania College of Medicine Department of Surgery What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The morbidity and mortality from pulmonary emboli (PE) are considerable. They range in severity from a problem amenable to outpatient medical management to fatal. Trauma patients are often ineligible for chemoprophylaxis due to the risk for life-threatening bleeding. Yet traumatic injury can increase a person’s likelihood of having a pulmonary embolus via an array of mechanical and humoral pathways. The vena cava filter (VCF) offered the possibility of PE prophylaxis for patients otherwise vulnerable to PE risk. Use of VCF grew and the rate of use increased even more after the introduction of the retrievable VCF. Our study sought to determine if any temporal variation in VCF use has occurred and investigate if an contemporaneous change in the diagnosis of PE has taken place. We used three databases to allow a telescoping window of observation from a single state, Pennsylvania (PTOS), to a convenience of sample of trauma centers across the country (NTDB), and finally a national, population-based sample of all hospital discharges in the US (NIS). A temporal trend was observed in all three datasets with differing magnitudes and time points of change. The variation of vena cava filter use was most pronounced in the PTOS and least dramatic in the NIS, The rate of PE was essentially unchanged during the same period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease, Thromboembolism / 29.03.2017 Interview with: Paul Burton, MD, PhD, FACC Vice President, Medical Affairs Janssen What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), affects more than 900,000 Americans each year; one-third of these occurrences are fatal. Once a person experiences a VTE, they are at risk of having another occurrence. Guidelines currently recommend anticoagulant therapy with a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC), like XARELTO® (rivaroxaban), for three months or longer. Once anticoagulant therapy is stopped, up to 10 percent of people will experience a recurrence during the first year and up to 20 percent within three years. In people who decide to stop anticoagulant therapy, guidelines currently suggest using aspirin for long-term prevention of recurrent VTE rather than no aspirin at all. The Phase 3 EINSTEIN CHOICE study was designed to compare the efficacy and safety of XARELTO® to aspirin for continued VTE management in people who experienced an initial VTE. The study met its primary endpoint, finding both XARELTO® doses (10 mg or 20 mg once daily) to be superior to aspirin 100 mg once daily in preventing recurrent VTE, with no significant impact on safety. Specifically, XARELTO® 10 mg reduced the risk of recurrent VTE by 74 percent and XARELTO® 20 mg by 66 percent. Rates of major bleeding were comparable and low across all treatment groups. These results were presented at the American College of Cardiology's 64th Annual Scientific Session (ACC.17) during a Joint ACC/Journal of American Medical Association Late-Breaking Clinical Trials session and published simultaneously in The New England Journal of Medicine. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Lipids, Thromboembolism / 21.01.2017 Interview with: Setor Kunutsor BSc MD MPhil(cantab) PhD(cantab) Research Fellow/Epidemiologist Musculoskeletal Research Unit University of Bristol School of Clinical Sciences Southmead Hospital What is the background for this study? Response: Statins are well established for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and this is based on their ability to lower levels of circulating lipids in the blood. However, statins are also known to have pleotropic effects and these include potential protective effects on multiple disease conditions. Based on their anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic properties, there have been suggestions that statins may prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) (which comprises of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis). The evidence is however uncertain. Several studies utilizing both observational cohort and randomized controlled designs have been conducted to evaluate whether statin therapy or use is associated with a reduction in the incidence of VTE, but the results have been inconclusive. In a recent review that was published in 2012, Rahimi and colleagues pooled the results of several randomized controlled trials (RCTs), but found no significant reduction in the risk of VTE with statin therapy [REF]. Given the publication of new studies since this study was published and the existing uncertain evidence on the effect of statins on VTE, we decided it was time to bring all the evidence together and evaluate if statin therapy really did have a protective effect on the risk of venous thromboembolism. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, Orthopedics, Surgical Research, Thromboembolism / 06.12.2016 Interview with: Suzanne C. Cannegieter, M.D., Ph.D. Einthoven Laboratory Leiden University Medical Center The Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Patients who undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and patients who are treated with casting of the lower leg are at increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE). It is uncertain whether thromboprophylaxis is effective in these situations to prevent VTE. For both indications, several trials have been performed to evaluate the effectiveness of anticoagulant prophylaxis. However, an overall risk–benefit balance could not be established because of methodologic shortcomings; hence, there has been reluctance to establish international guidelines regarding the use of anticoagulant therapy for either of these indications. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Clots - Coagulation, Testosterone, Thromboembolism / 03.12.2016 Interview with: Dr. Carlos Martinez Institute for Epidemiology, Statistics and Informatics GmbH Frankfurt, Germany, What is the background for this study? Response: A 10-fold increase in testosterone prescriptions per capita in the United States and a 40-fold increase in Canada in men has occurred over the first decade of this century, mainly for sexual dysfunction and/or decreased energy. Recognised pathological disorders of the male reproductive system remain the sole unequivocal indication for testosterone treatment but there has been increasing use in men without pathological hypogonadism. A variety of studies and meta-analyses have provided conflicting evidence as to the magnitude of the risk of cardiovascular events including venous thromboembolism in men on testosterone treatment. In June 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada required a warning about the risk of venous thromboembolism to be displayed on all approved testosterone products. Studies have reported contradictory results on an association between testosterone use and the risk of venous thromboembolism. The effect of timing and duration of testosterone use on the risk of venous thromboembolism was not studied and may explain some of these contradictory findings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Outcomes & Safety, Thromboembolism, Transfusions / 28.11.2016 Interview with: Mary A.M. Rogers, PhD, MS Research Associate Professor Research Director, Patient Safety Enhancement Program Department of Internal Medicine University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI What is the background for this study? Response: Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are commonly used for vascular access in hospitalized patients. Previous studies have shown that PICCs of larger gauge (diameter) increase the risk of developing venous thromboembolism (blood clots in the deep veins that sometimes travel to the lung). Red blood cell transfusion is also known to increase the risk of venous thromboembolism. Because PICCs are often used to transfuse blood, we designed a study to investigate whether the method of transfusion delivery influences the risk of developing venous thromboembolism. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease, JACC, Thromboembolism / 27.10.2016 Interview with: Truven Health AnalyticsJay Margolis, PharmD Sr. Research Scientist Truven Health What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), most commonly warfarin, had been the only orally available anticoagulants available for the last 60 or so years. While highly effective, use of these agents was often problematic due to their narrow therapeutic index, need for routine coagulation monitoring, and interactions with food and other drugs. Recently introduced new oral anticoagulants (NOACs), particularly rivaroxaban, had been shown in clinical trials to provide comparable efficacy to the VKAs without the need for routine coagulation monitoring. There have been few studies outside of clinical trials showing benefits that translate to real-world populations. In our study using real-world data from a large sample of geographically and demographically diverse US hospitals, patients hospitalized for incident venous thromboembolisms (VTE) initiating oral anticoagulant treatment with rivaroxaban had significantly shorter hospital stays and lower hospitalization costs compared with warfarin-treated patients. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, JAMA, Surgical Research, Thromboembolism / 03.10.2016 Interview with: Charles A. Karcutskie IV, MD, MA Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Surgery Divisions of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, and Burns What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our research group at the Ryder Trauma Center have recently done several studies showing various differences in outcomes and risk based on mechanism of injury. Additionally, venous thromboembolism (VTE) is another topic that our group has focused on in the past several years. Because trauma patients are inherently at a higher risk for VTE due to the nature of their injury, we questioned whether the most important risk factors for VTE were different after blunt or penetrating trauma. At our institution, we assess VTE risk with the Greenfield Risk Assessment Profile, which is a list of several risk factors that each have weight toward an overall risk score. We took these risk factors and analyzed them individually based on mechanism of injury. We found that the factors that contribute to the VTE risk are different based on injury mechanism: After blunt trauma, transfusion status, neurologic status, and pelvic fracture contributed most. After penetrating trauma, vascular injury, severe abdominal injury, and age 40-59 years contributed most. This tells us that mechanism of injury may need to be incorporated into the risk assessment in order to discover the highest risk patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Clots, CHEST, OBGYNE, Surgical Research, Thromboembolism / 27.09.2016 Interview with: Marc Blondon, MD Division of Angiology and Hemostasis, Department of Specialties of Medicine, Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland Seattle Epidemiologic Research and Information Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, Seattle, WA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Venous thromboembolism, a condition including deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) and pulmonary embolism, is more common in older than younger patients. However, pregnancy and particularly the postpartum period are times at greater risk of blood clots in women. It is important to understand the risk and the risk factors for thrombosis in the postpartum period to guide the use of preventive measures such as heparin, an anticoagulant treatment, or leg compression devices. Our study summarizes the evidence on the link between C-sections and blood clots from the past 35 years. Our meta-analysis demonstrates that:
  • C-section carries a 4-fold increased risk of blood clots in the postpartum period, compared with vaginal deliveries ;
  • that this risk is most prominent but not restricted to emergency C-section ;
  • and that women who undergo elective C-section are also at higher risk than women who have a vaginal delivery.
  • Importantly, we estimated an absolute risk of blood clots after a C-section of 2-4 per 1000 pregnancies: on average, 3 out of 1000 women after C-section will develop a blood clot.
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Lancet / 07.05.2016 Interview with: Riyaz Bashir MD, FACC, RVT Professor of Medicine Director, Vascular and Endovascular Medicine Department of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Diseases Temple University Hospital Philadelphia, PA 19140 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bashir: The use of compression stockings in the prevention of post thrombotic syndrome following an episode of deep vein thrombosis is common in clinical practice. However, the evidence to suggest its efficacy has been put into question by the recent publication of the SOX trial. Since this was the largest randomized controlled trial to date addressing this issue, it has led to clinicians questioning whether compression stockings should be used at all in these patients. The main finding of this meta-analysis was that in patients with deep venous thrombosis, use of elastic compression stockings does not significantly reduce the development of post thrombotic syndrome. However the current body of evidence is limited and we believe at present it is too early to give up on the use of this therapy, which may benefit many subgroups of patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Clots, Endocrinology, Hormone Therapy, Pharmacology / 07.01.2016 Interview with: Ida Martinelli MD, PhD A Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Milan, Italy  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Martinelli: Hormonal therapies are associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism. Patients with acute deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism require anticoagulation, but women of childbearing potential require also an adequate contraception, as oral anticoagulants cross the placenta potentially leading to embryopathy or fetal bleeding. This study was aimed to evaluate the safety of hormonal therapies together with anticoagulant therapies in terms of recurrent venous thrombosis and uterine bleeding. We demonstrated for the first time that women who take oral anticoagulants can safely use hormonal therapies, as their risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism or uterine bleeding is not increased. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Clots - Coagulation, Sloan Kettering / 16.12.2015 Interview with: Luke V. Selby, MD Research Fellow, Department of Surgery Vivian E. Strong, MD FACS Associate Attending Surgeon, Department of Surgery Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There was strong concern at our institution about the safety of providing pre-operative Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) chemoprophylaxis (in addition to our standard peri and post-operative prophylaxis) was unsafe.  To answer this question we administered a single dose of either low molecular weight heparin or unfractionated heparin to all eligible surgical patients at our institution over a six month period. When compared to identically selected patients operated on during the preceding 18 months, patients who received the pre-operative VTE chemoprophylaxis did not have higher rates of bleeding complications and had lower rates of DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE). (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Clots, Orthopedics, PLoS / 16.11.2015 Interview with: Banne Nemeth, MD and  Suzanne C. Cannegieter MD PhD Leiden University Medical Center The Einthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine Clinical Department of Epidemiology and Orthopedic Surgery Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Nemeth: Clinicians cannot currently accurately predict who will develop venous thrombosis, but it would be very helpful to be able to identify individuals at high risk for venous thrombosis because the condition can be prevented by giving anticoagulants before a clot forms (thromboprophylaxis). The ability to predict venous thrombosis would be particularly useful in patients who have had a lower limb immobilized in a cast after, for example, breaking a bone. These patients have an increased risk of venous thrombosis compared to patients without cast immobilization. We developed and validated a prediction model to identify patients with plaster cast of the lower extremity who are at high risk to develop venous thrombosis. A clinical risk score named, L-TRIP(cast) score (Leiden Thrombosis Risk Prediction for patients with cast immobilization score), was developed containing 14 clinical risk factors such as age, sex, BMI, use of oral contraceptives and location of plaster cast. Patients that score 9 points or higher are classified as being at high risk for venous thrombosis. Clinicians may decide to prescribe thromboprophylaxis therapy for these patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Thromboembolism / 17.09.2014

Dr. Marc Carrier, MD MSc Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Physician, Hematology (Thrombosis), The Ottawa Hospital Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, and Research Chair in Venous Thromboembolism and Cancer (Tier 2) at the University of Interview with: Dr. Marc Carrier, MD MSc Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Physician, Hematology, The Ottawa Hospital Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, and Research Chair in Venous Thromboembolism and Cancer (Tier 2) at the University of Ottawa What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Carrier: Venous thromboembolism (VTE), comprised of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is the third leading cause of cardiovascular death. There are many anticoagulant treatments available but there is little guidance about which treatment is most effective and safe. This systematic review and network meta-analysis evaluated eight different treatment options for acute Venous thromboembolism.  Forty-five trials were included in the analysis and there were no significant differences in clinical or safety outcomes associated with most treatment options when compared to the combination of LMWH-VKA.. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, JAMA / 21.07.2014

Riyaz Bashir MD, FACC, RVT Associate Professor of Medicine Director, Vascular and Endovascular Medicine Department of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Diseases Temple University Hospital Philadelphia, PA Interview with Riyaz Bashir MD, FACC, RVT Associate Professor of Medicine Director, Vascular and Endovascular Medicine Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases Temple University Hospital Philadelphia, PA 19140 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Bashir : Blood clots of legs called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a very common disease that occurs in about 1.0 person per 1000 population per year. This condition is responsible for more than 600,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States and approximately 6% of these patients will die within 1 month of the diagnosis. Amongst these patients 20% - to 50% will go on to develop chronic leg pains, swelling, heaviness, skin discoloration, and ulcers, in spite of conventional treatment with Blood thinning medications (anticoagulation) and compression stockings.This condition, which is called Post-thrombotic syndrome PTS markedly impairs the quality of life of these patients and is a significant economic burden (2.4 billion dollars and 200 million work days lost annually in US) on the society.In fact, many of these people lose their jobs because of the disability it causes. Several small studies have shown that early clot removal by minimally invasive catheter-based clot busting procedure called Catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) leads to a significant reduction in Post-thrombotic syndrome along with improvements in quality of life. Unfortunately, due to the small number of patients in these studies, we did not have any data about the safety of this treatment option. This has led to conflicting recommendations by various medical societies like the American College of Chest Physicians recommending against its use while the American Heart Association recommends Catheter-directed thrombolysis as first-line treatment for these patients. In light of these conflicting directives, we reviewed the frequency and safety of CDT versus conventional treatment in these patients with blood clots above the knees in the United States using Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from 2005 to 2010. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Thromboembolism / 09.07.2014

Kirstine Kobberøe Søgaard, MD Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Interview with: Kirstine Kobberøe Søgaard, MD Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is mainly considered an acute illness with a high mortality right after the event, whereas knowledge on the impact on long-term survival has been sparse. In our study, we used nationwide data on VTE since 1977, and included 128,223 patients with VTE and 640,760 individuals from the general population without a VTE diagnosis. We had complete follow-up data on individual patient level and were able to link information from other hospital admissions and thereby obtain each patient’s entire hospital history, as well as death statistics with specific cause of death. We confirmed the high mortality immediately after the thromboembolic event, but more interestingly, we found that mortality remained increased during the entire follow-up period of 30 years, with venous thromboembolism as an important cause of death among patients with deep venous thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 09.07.2014 Interview with: Nikolai Madrid Scheller Department of Epidemiology Research Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: In a large and comprehensive study of more than 1.5 million women including more than 500,000 HPV vaccinated there was no association between HPV vaccination and blood clots. (more…)
Author Interviews, Thromboembolism / 17.04.2014

Craig M. Lilly, M.D. Professor of Medicine Departments of Medicine, Anesthesiology, and Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Clinical and Population Health Research Program, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Worcester, Interview with: Craig M. Lilly, M.D. Professor of Medicine Departments of Medicine, Anesthesiology, and Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Clinical and Population Health Research Program, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Worcester, MA What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lilly: Critically ill adults with clinicians that chose to manage them with prophylactic anticoagulation were more likely to survive their hospitalization than patients that received venous thrombosis prophylaxis with mechanical devices or were not treated with venous thrombosis prophylaxis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Clots, JAMA / 13.10.2013

Mila Ju, MD Resident, Division of Vascular Surgery Northwestern University 676 N. Saint Clair St., Ste 650 Chicago, IL Interview with: Mila Ju, MD Resident, Division of Vascular Surgery Northwestern University 676 N. Saint Clair St., Ste 650 Chicago, IL  60611 What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Ju: By using combined data from Hospital Compare, American Hospital Association, and Medicare claims databases, we found that better hospital venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis adherence rates were weakly associated with worse risk-adjusted VTE event rates. Moreover, hospitals with higher intensity of detecting VTE with imaging studies (such as venous duplex, chest computer tomography, etc.) had more VTE events (13.5 in highest VTE imaging quartile vs 5.0 in lowest VTE imaging quartile) per 1000 discharges. Our study suggests that VTE rates might be influenced by surveillance bias and not reflecting the true quality of care provided by the hospitals. (more…)
OBGYNE, Thromboembolism / 24.07.2013 Interview with: Sheree Boulet, DrPH, MPH Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance and Research Team Women's Health and Fertility Branch Division of Reproductive Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Boulet: Between 1994-2009, the rate of pregnancy-related hospitalizations with venous thromboembolism (VTE) increased by 14%. We also found that the prevalence of hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease increased over the same time period for pregnancy hospitalizations with VTE. (more…)