New statement offers advice on treating dangerous, deep blood clots

Mar 21, 2011

Doctors are encouraged to consider therapies in addition to blood thinners to treat certain patients with potentially dangerous blood clots that form in the deep veins and travel to the lungs, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association. The statement is published online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

More than 250,000 people in the United States are hospitalized with deep vein each year. Previously, there has been limited guidance for physicians on some of the more serious conditions caused by , when form in veins buried deep in the body.

The statement offers advice for cardiologists and a range of other physicians who treat the disorder. Guidance is provided for identifying and treating people with massive and submassive pulmonary embolism (dangerous blockage in veins in the lungs), iliofemoral deep vein thrombosis (blockage in the main vein of the pelvis and leg), and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (serious in the lungs caused by blood clots).

"It is important for doctors to be able to identify the severity of these disorders and to select who might be eligible for more invasive therapies, such as clot-busting drugs, catheter-based treatments or surgery," said M. Sean McMurtry, M.D., Ph. D., co-chair of statement writing group. "Venous thromboembolism is very common, and frequently a complication of other ailments. While most patients need only, patients with more severe forms of venous thromboembolism may benefit from more aggressive treatments."

The statement outlines multiple treatment options including the use of fibrinolytic drugs (drugs that dissolve blood clots), catheter-based interventions (inserting a small plastic catheter into an artery to open it), treatment with surgery to remove the blood clots and use of implants called filters that prevent clots from traveling in the veins from the legs to the lungs, where they can cause strain on the heart. Additional guidance for treating pediatric patients is also included.

Explore further: Sierra Leone declares five-day Ebola lockdown in north

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Migraine linked to blood clots in veins

Sep 15, 2008

People with migraines may also be more likely to develop blood clots in their veins, according to a study published in the September 16, 2008, issue of Neurology the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Ultrasound waves aid in rapid treatment of DVT

Nov 23, 2008

The use of ultrasound waves for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may help dissolve blood clots in less time than using clot-busting drugs alone, according to researchers at Emory University. The study will be presented Sunday, ...

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone bans Christmas parties amid Ebola

12 hours ago

Alice Marke and her family aren't celebrating Christmas the way they used to: The deadly Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone means no festive parties at the beach, no carolers singing at night.

Fourth UN staff contracts Ebola in Liberia

15 hours ago

A fourth member of the UN mission in Liberia, the country hardest-hit by the Ebola epidemic, has been hospitalised after testing positive for the virus.

Tuberculosis avoids and subverts host immunity

Dec 23, 2014

An ancient disease, tuberculosis (TB) continues to be one of the major causes of disability and death worldwide. The recent TB cases in Quebec among the Inuit community has underscored the need to find new avenues to eradicate ...

User comments : 0

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.