Research examines safety of treatments for deep vein thrombosis
Patients who have a clot in their legs and are considering whether to be treated with traditional blood-thinning medication or undergo a minimally-invasive catheter-based clot removal procedure should feel comfortable that there is no difference in death rates between the two treatments, although there are more bleeding risks with the catheter procedure, according to a study by Temple University School of Medicine researchers. The study involved a review of more than 90,000 cases nationwide.
Riyaz Bashir, MD, a specialist in interventional cardiology and vascular disease at Temple Heart & Vascular Center, directed the study, which was aimed at figuring out the best way to treat a painful and potentially deadly condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
The study, to be published by JAMA Internal Medicine, compared two approaches: catheter-based thrombolysis, which involves inserting a catheter to deliver clot-dissolving medication directly into the leg clot; and medical therapy using a blood-thinning medication (anticoagulation). The study found that the in-hospital mortality rate was similar for the two groups. However, the catheter-based procedure was associated with higher rates of bleeding. The catheter procedure also was more costly than the medical therapy and involved more days in the hospital.
It is estimated that about 6 percent of DVT patients die within one month of the diagnosis. The study should help inform an ongoing medical debate over the safest and most effective way to treat DVT, which is the third most common cause of cardiovascular morbidity and death after coronary artery disease and stroke. When a blood clot develops in a vein in the leg, it can break loose and travel to the lungs, causing a deadly condition called pulmonary embolism. DVT, which occurs in about 1 out of every 1,000 people per year, can have a long-lasting effect on a person's well-being.
About 20 to 50 percent of patients with above-knee DVT will go on to develop a condition called post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) even when treated with anticoagulation therapy and compression stockings. Patients with PTS experience pain, swelling, itching, skin discoloration and heaviness in the legs, and, in severe cases, skin ulcers.
"These patients can end up very disabled. They sometimes are unable to work and they lose their job," said Dr. Bashir, Associate Professor of Medicine. "Post-thrombotic syndrome places a huge economic burden ($2.4 billion and 200 million work days lost annually in the U.S.) on the health-care system."
Several studies had shown that early removal of the clot using catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) leads to a significant reduction in the incidence of PTS along with improvement in patients' quality of life.
The studies were too small, however, to draw any conclusions about the safety of the catheter-based procedure versus medical therapy alone using blood-thinning medications, and doctors are divided on which approach is better.
The American Heart Association recommends the catheter-based procedure (CDT) as the first-line therapy for patients at low risk for bleeding, while the American College of Chest Surgeons recommends against the use of CDT because of safety concerns and the complexity of the procedure.
Dr. Bashir and his research team used a national database called Nationwide Inpatient Sample to study outcomes for patients who were hospitalized for DVT between January 2005 and December 2010.
They identified 90,618 cases overall. They then compared 3,594 patients who underwent the catheter-based procedure to deliver clot-busting medication to the same number of patients who received anticoagulation alone.
Among the findings were:
The researchers found that rate of CDT utilization for treating DVT went from 2.3 percent in 2005 to 5.9 percent in 2010. Over that same period, the mortality rate for patients who had CDT went down, which is probably a reflection in a refinement in catheter based technologies and increased operator experience. However the rate of bleeding continued to remain higher in this group of patients. Patients who had the procedure at a higher-volume center tended to do better, the study found.
Dr. Bashir said that some patients with DVT clearly benefit from the catheter based procedure, but he said patients needed to be carefully selected. His team concluded that more research is needed to sort out the risks versus the benefits of the procedure.
"In light of the findings of this study, it is imperative that the magnitude of benefit from CDT has to be substantiated in order to justify the increased upfront resource utilization and bleeding risk of this therapy," the researchers wrote. "In the absence of such data, it may be reasonable to restrict this form of therapy to those patients who have a low bleeding risk and have a high risk of PTS," such as patients with clots at or above their groins.
"I think all patients with leg clots should be informed about the risks of developing PTS and its consequences and the risks of catheter-based clot removal so that they can truly participate in shared decision-making," Dr. Bashir said.
Dr. Bashir conducted the study with three other Temple University School of Medicine researchers: Chad Zack, MD, Huaqing Zhao, PhD, and Alfred Bove, MD. Anthony Comerota, MD, of ProMedica Toledo Hospital in Ohio was also on the research team.
The study was funded by Temple University Hospital's Cardiovascular Division, which is a nationally-recognized leader in research on cardiovascular diseases and their treatments.
About Temple Health
Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System and by Temple University School of Medicine.
Temple University Health System (TUHS) is a $1.4 billion academic health system dedicated to providing access to quality patient care and supporting excellence in medical education and research. The Health System consists of Temple University Hospital (TUH), ranked among the "Best Hospitals" in the region by U.S. News & World Report; TUH-Episcopal Campus; TUH-Northeastern Campus; Fox Chase Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center; Jeanes Hospital, a community-based hospital offering medical, surgical and emergency services; Temple Transport Team, a ground and air-ambulance company; and Temple Physicians, Inc., a network of community-based specialty and primary-care physician practices. TUHS is affiliated with Temple University School of Medicine.
Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM), established in 1901, is one of the nation's leading medical schools. Each year, the School of Medicine educates approximately 840 medical students and 140 graduate students. Based on its level of funding from the National Institutes of Health, Temple University School of Medicine is the second-highest ranked medical school in Philadelphia and the third-highest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. According to U.S. News & World Report, TUSM is among the top 10 most applied-to medical schools in the nation.
Kathleen Duffy | Eurek Alert!
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences