Scientific publications

Characteristics of isolated superficial vein thrombosis and diagnostictherapeutic management in Spanish hospital emergency departments: the ALTAMIRA study

Dec 1, 2021 | Magazine: Emergencias

Fahd Beddar Chaib  1 , Sònia Jiménez Hernández  2 , José María Pedrajas Navas  3 , Jorge Carriel Mancilla  4 , Lorena Castro Arias  5 , Marta Merlo Loranca  6 , Ana Peiró Gómez  7 , Ángel Álvarez Márquez  8 , Laura Lozano Polo  9 , Ángel Sánchez Garrido-Lestache  10 , Ramón Lecumberri  11 , Pedro Ruiz Artacho  12 , Grupo de Enfermedad Tromboembólica Venosa de la Sociedad Española de Medicina de Urgencias y Emergencias (ETV-SEMES)

Objectives: To describe the characteristics of patients with isolated lower-limb superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) treated in hospital emergency departments and to evaluate adherence to clinical practice guidelines on diagnosis (vein ultrasound imaging) and therapeutic management (start of anticoagulant therapy).

Material and methods: Retrospective cohort study in 18 Spanish emergency departments. We included all patients with a final emergency department diagnosis of lower-limb SVT aged 18 years or older between January 2016 and May 2017. Backward stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate adherence to clinical practice guidelines on ordering vein ultrasound imaging and starting anticoagulant therapy.

Results: A total of 1166 patients were included. The mean patient age was 59.6 years, and 67.9% were women. About a quarter of the patients (24.4%) had a history of venous thromboembolic disease. Complications developed in 8.9% within 180 days: 4.6% experienced a recurrence and 3.6% progressed to SVT and 1.8% to deep vein thrombosis; pulmonary thromboembolism occurred in 0.9%.

Hemorrhagic complications developed in 17 patients (1.5%). Sixteen patients (1.4%) died. Vein ultrasound imagine was ordered for 703 patients (60.3%). Anticoagulant agents were prescribed for 898 (77%) for a median period of 22 days.

Variables associated with a decision to order anticoagulants were a history of venous thromboembolic disease (odds ratio [OR], 1.60; 95% CI, 1.12-2.30), varicose veins (OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.12-2.30); limb pain (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.08-1.91); painful cord (OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 0.97-1.73); and availability of vein ultrasound images (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.94-3.45).

Conclusion: Adherence to clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of isolated lower-limb SVT is low in Spanish emergency departments. Ultrasound imaging is not ordered for 1 out of every 2 to 3 patients, and anticoagulant treatment is not started in 1 out of 4 patients. There is great room for improvement.

CITATION  Emergencias. 2021 Dec;33(6):433-440