Shortened Anticoagulation Course May Be Effective For Deep Vein Thrombosis

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A shortened course of warfarin anticoagulation therapy proved effective in treating deep vein thrombosis following total hip and knee arthroplasty.

Canadian investigators enrolled 11 patients with deep vein thrombosis after hip or knee surgery at Kingston General Hospital in Ontario. Patients with chronic predisposing factors for thromboembolic disease, revision arthroplasty or previous deep vein thrombosis were excluded from the study.

Warfarin administration to achieve an International Normalized Ratio of 2.0 to 2.5 was adjusted three times per week until deep vein thrombosis was resolved as measured by duplex ultrasonography.

All patients underwent clinical evaluation and ultrasonography one year later to assess recurrence of deep vein thrombosis.
In all patients, deep vein thrombosis resolved after a mean of 34 postoperative days and, after one year, all patients were still free from recurrence.

The effectiveness of a shorter course of anticoagulation therapy in this small study suggests that further research should be considered, the investigators conclude.