Forty-seven patients with phlebographically confirmed lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT) were reexamined 5 to 10 years (mean, 7 years) after the thrombotic event. Clinical symptoms were recorded and the following noninvasive venous vascular laboratory tests were performed: Doppler examination to determine venous valve competence and photoplethysmography to measure ambulatory venous pressure and venous recovery time. Twenty-eight control subjects underwent similar examination. Although only 10 of 47 patients (21%) were asymptomatic, venous ulceration had developed in only two patients. The symptomatic patients had varying degrees of edema, pigmentation, and varicosities. Eighty-three percent of DVT patients had abnormal vascular laboratory findings. Both the severity of clinical symptoms and the magnitude of the hemodynamic abnormalities generally correlated with the extent of the initial thrombus. However, only 47% of patients whose initial thrombus appeared limited to the calf were asymptomatic, and only 25% of this group had normal venous hemodynamic findings. This study indicates that 5 to 10 years after lower extremity DVT 80% of patients will have both symptoms and abnormal venous hemodynamics regardless of the initial site of the thrombosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine