Isolated distal deep vein thrombosis (IDDVT) is a common subtype of deep vein thrombosis. Consensus guidelines provide conflicting recommendations for IDDVT management; some recommend anticoagulant treatment, while others suggest serial compression ultrasonography (CUS) monitoring for patients at “high risk” of proximal extension. The purpose of this study was to describe outcomes of serial CUS-monitored IDDVT and identify risk factors for thrombus extension into proximal veins or anticoagulant treatment initiation.
A retrospective descriptive study was conducted using electronic data from University of Utah Health. Adult subjects with objectively confirmed IDDVT managed using serial CUS surveillance were included. Subjects were followed for 30-days for occurrence of a composite outcome of proximal clot extension or anticoagulant treatment initiation. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize characteristics of the study population. Characteristics were compared across outcome groups using inferential statistics.
A total of 178 subjects were included, with 53 subjects (29.5%) experiencing the composite outcome. A prior history of VTE was significantly higher in those who experienced the composite outcome, or its separate components, than in those who did not.
Our results indicated that 7 out of 10 patients with IDDVT managed with serial CUS did not experience clot propagation or require anticoagulant treatment within 30 days of diagnosis. In lieu of evidence suggesting a clear benefit of anticoagulant treatment, serial CUS monitoring may be an appropriate management strategy for IDDVT. A history of VTE may be a useful surrogate marker for potentially unfavorable IDDVT outcomes.
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