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Temple study examines whether compression stockings can prevent post-thrombotic syndrome

Temple University Health System

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IMAGE: Riyaz Bashir, MD, FACC, RVT, Professor of Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and Director of Vascular and Endovascular Medicine at Temple University Hospital view more

Credit: Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

(Philadelphia, PA) - Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, often in the deep veins of the legs, thigh or pelvis. Approximately half of people with this problem will develop post thrombotic syndrome -- a condition marked by pain, swelling, redness and chronic sores in the affected legs.

Traditionally, patients with post thrombotic syndrome are treated with elastic compression stockings that are worn on the affected leg. The stockings are meant to help squeeze fluid from the lower to upper parts of the leg in order to reduce swelling and decrease pain. Some patients may wear these stockings for years, but recent studies have cast doubt on their effectiveness.

"This leaves physicians in a quandary - do these stockings prevent post-thrombotic syndrome after deep vein thrombosis or not?" asks Riyaz Bashir, MD, FACC, RVT, Professor of Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and Director of Vascular and Endovascular Medicine at Temple University Hospital.

To find out, Dr. Bashir and colleagues analyzed more than 600 past reports and studies involving elastic compression stockings, including the recent SOX trial that looked specifically at this issue. The results of their findings were published May 5, 2016 by The Lancet Haematology.

"Our analysis shows that use of elastic compression stockings does not significantly reduce the development of post-thrombotic syndrome," says Dr. Bashir. "Many questions remain, such as whether certain groups of patients like females or elderly patients benefit from this treatment or whether the timing of the intervention would make a difference. Based on the results of our study we believe it's too early to recommend that physicians stop using compression stockings and therefore should not give up on this modality of treatment yet. This study also highlights that there is a real need for new and more effective therapies for the treatment and prevention of post-thrombotic syndrome," he adds.

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About Temple Health

Temple University Health System (TUHS) is a $1.6 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 the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.

The Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM), 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, the Katz 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, LKSOM is among the top 10 most applied-to medical schools in the nation.

Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System (TUHS) and by the Katz School of Medicine. TUHS neither provides nor controls the provision of health care. All health care is provided by its member organizations or independent health care providers affiliated with TUHS member organizations. Each TUHS member organization is owned and operated pursuant to its governing documents.

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