Do not recommend elastic compression stockings to decrease the incidence of postthrombotic syndrome after deep vein thrombosis.1
STRENGTH OF RECOMMENDATION
B: Based on a large randomized controlled trial1
A 56-year-old man presents to your clinic three days after receiving a diagnosis of lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT). He was prescribed warfarin (5 mg/d) with enoxaparin bridging (120 mg/d). He has read about postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) online and is very concerned about this possible adverse effect. He asks about using elastic compression stockings (ECS). What should you tell him?
PTS can be a frustrating, debilitating condition. Its clinical features range from minor limb swelling to severe edema and pain, irreversible skin changes, and leg ulcerations.2 It occurs in 25% to 50% of patients after DVT.3 Because current PTS treatments are not very effective, prevention is essential.4,5
Patients are frequently encouraged to wear ECS after DVT to reduce the incidence of PTS by decreasing venous hypertension and reflux. These stockings are expensive and uncomfortable. Prior research suggested that use of ECS can reduce PTS incidence by half, but the studies were small, single-center, and not placebo-controlled.6,7
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