Jury still out on compression stockings after DVT


10 May 2016

It’s still too early to give up on the use of compression stockings after a DVT concludes a new meta-analysis published in this week’s Lancet Haematology.

The routine use of compression stockings in patients who have had a DVT has been in question since the publication of the large randomised controlled SOX study  that suggested there was no evidence to support their use in this group of patients.

In an attempt to find a definitive answer to this clinical quandary researchers analysed six randomised trials involving 1462 patients.

They discovered that the use of elastic compression stockings did not prevent post-thrombotic syndrome (odds ratio [OR] 0·56 [95% CI 0·27–1·16]; p=0·12).

However when the authors excluded the SOX trial they found a significantly reduced incidence of post thrombotic syndrome in patients using compression stockings compared with those using placebo or no stockings (OR 0·46 [95% CI 0·22–0·99];p=0·05).

“In view of this equipoise shown in our study, we would suggest that at this time there does not exist sufficient data to show that the use of compression therapy is not beneficial” the study authors concluded.

Commenting on the research a group of cardiology experts said the research highlights a pressing need for new and more effective therapies for the treatment of post-thrombotic syndrome.

“This need is further emphasised by the fact that a large proportion of patients go on to develop post thrombotic syndrome despite using elastic compression stockings,” they wrote.

“In many patients who benefit from elastic compression stockings, the benefit is restricted to relief of symptoms rather than a cure of underlying disorder,” they added.

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