New guidelines developed for improved deep venous thrombosis diagnosis

February 14, 2012, Intermountain Medical Center

A researcher at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City is part of a select panel of international experts to help develop new evidence-based clinical guidelines used by physicians worldwide for the diagnosis and treatment of blood-clotting disorders, one of the most common cardiovascular diseases in the United States.

Scott M. Stevens, MD, co-director of the Thrombosis Clinic at Intermountain Medical Center, says the new are critically-needed to ensure that clinicians worldwide are using the most advanced information and protocols available to properly diagnosis deep venous thrombosis, or DVT.

The new guidelines, which will become the global standard of care for the diagnosis of DVT, are published in the February issue of Chest, the journal of the .

or DVT mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. The clot can block blood flow and cause swelling and pain. When a clot breaks off and moves through the , this is called an embolism. An embolism can get stuck in the brain, lungs, heart, or other area, leading to severe damage.

Rapid treatment for DVT is crucial to prevent potentially fatal complications. But the symptoms are often mistaken for a sprain or , says Dr. Stevens.

"Thrombosis, particularly DVT, is the third most common cardiovascular disease in the United States, behind only and stroke," he says. "Prompt treatment is very important to prevent the clot from leaving the leg and traveling to the lungs, heart or brain. Physicians need good information on the best way to diagnose a DVT."

Because of research performed by Dr. Stevens and the team of researchers at Intermountain Medical Center, Dr. Stevens was chosen to help draft a new chapter for the ninth edition of the guidelines. Previous editions have not included a chapter on diagnosing DVT.

"This publication is the resource for clinicians seeking evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of thrombosis-related disorders," says Greg Elliott, MD, chair of Department of Medicine at Intermountain Medical Center. "Dr. Stevens earned this recognition by virtue of his excellence as a clinician investigator. His work will result in better care for patients here in Utah and around the world."

Dr. Stevens says the new chapter provides a road map for the best-proven and most cost-effective ways to diagnose DVT.

The process is complicated and involves sophisticated algorithms. Physicians may have difficulty performing those kinds of complex calculations in their day-to-day practice, so the guidelines teach them to use "decision trees" that lead them to accurate diagnoses by asking strategic questions.

Physicians from around the globe — everyone from primary care doctors to cardiologists, pulmonologists, orthopedic surgeons, and neurologists — will learn from the new guidelines at conferences, seminars, and journals in the coming months.

Dr. Stevens was joined in writing the chapter on DVT diagnosis by 11 other experts from hospitals and universities in Canada, England, Boston, and Buffalo, N.Y. Other chapters of the guidelines, written by different panels, examine the best treatment options for DVT and other blood-clotting disorders.

Explore further: New DVT guidelines: No evidence to support 'economy class syndrome'

Related Stories

New DVT guidelines: No evidence to support 'economy class syndrome'

February 7, 2012
New evidence-based guidelines from the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) address the many risk factors for developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clot, as the result of long-distance travel. These risk ...

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease appear to be at increased risk for post-operative DVT, PE

October 17, 2011
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) undergoing surgery may be more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT; blood clot in a deep vein in the thigh or leg) or pulmonary embolism (PE; blood clot in blood vessels ...

Aspirin may prevent DVT and PE in joint replacement patients

February 7, 2012
Following a total joint replacement, anticoagulation (blood thinning) drugs can prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot deep within the extremities, or a pulmonary embolism (PE), a complication that causes a blood ...

Recommended for you

A new theory on reducing cardiovascular disease risk in binge drinkers

January 23, 2018
A new study shows that binge drinkers have increased levels of a biomarker molecule—microRNA-21—that may contribute to poor vascular function.

Flu infection study increases understanding of natural immunity

January 23, 2018
People with higher levels of antibodies against the stem portion of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein have less viral shedding when they get the flu, but do not have fewer or less severe signs of illness, according ...

New long-acting approach for malaria therapy developed

January 22, 2018
A new study, published in Nature Communications, conducted by the University of Liverpool and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlights a new 'long acting' medicine for the prevention of malaria.

Virus shown to be likely cause of mystery polio-like illness

January 22, 2018
A major review by UNSW researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe.

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.