AHA presents guidelines for managing manifestations of VTE

April 19, 2011

There are several therapies in addition to blood thinners that physicians should consider when managing patients with deep vein thrombosis, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association. The statement is published online in Circulation.

There are several therapies in addition to blood thinners that physicians should consider when managing patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA). The statement is published online in Circulation.

On behalf of the AHA Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation; the Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease; and the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Michael R. Jaff, DO, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues collaboratively reviewed and summarized relevant literature on the treatments available to patients with severe manifestations of venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The AHA statement provides practical guidance for physicians to identify and treat individuals with manifestations of VTE, including massive and submassive pulmonary embolism, iliofemoral DVT, and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. The authors also offer advice for treating pediatric patients. The statement covers multiple treatment options, such as the use of fibrinolytic drugs, catheter-based interventions, and surgical interventions, noting that the appropriateness of the recommendations will vary with other patient-specific factors.

"Although this document makes recommendations for management, optimal medical decisions must incorporate other factors, including patient wishes, quality of life, and life expectancy based on age and comorbidities," the authors wrote.

The final document reflects the consensus opinion of the entire committee. Several authors disclosed financial and advisory relationships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.