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Common vein condition increases risk for developing life-threating blood clots
Date:8/17/2011

mptoms of DVT can include sudden pain, swelling, and tenderness in the limbs, not everyone with DVT experiences them.

"If an undiagnosed DVT progresses to a PE, the situation can become serious very quickly. Therefore, it is extremely important to understand and recognize the risk factors for DVT," said Dr. Cannegieter.

To determine whether patients with clinically diagnosed SVT are at risk for VTE, study authors from Leiden University Medical Center analyzed questionnaire responses from 4,290 patients with VTE and 5,644 controls without VTE. Study participants were previously enrolled in the MEGA study, a large, population-based, case-control study that assessed VTE risk in nearly 5,000 patients with over 6,000 controls from six anticoagulation clinics in the Netherlands between March 1999 and September 2004. In this particular study, the authors also assessed patients on VTE risk, particularly whether they had SVT before VTE diagnosis or prior to study enrollment. Results from the study analysis revealed that SVT was prevalent in 10 percent of the VTE patients, and in two percent of the control group. All patients with prior SVT were found to be six times more likely to develop DVT and four times more likely to develop PE than controls.

"Our results, which are in line with recent studies that regard SVT diagnosed by ultrasonographs as a precursor of VTE, show that a history of clinically diagnosed SVT is a risk factor for future VTE," said Dr. Cannegieter. "We recommend that clinicians should actively ask patients for a history of clinically diagnosed SVT and use this information in their risk stratisfication analysis. Furthermore, people who experience symptoms of SVT are advised to see a doctor, particularly when these symptoms do not pass or grow worse, as SVT appears not to be a separate and benign form of venous thrombosis, as previously thought."


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