Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 41–48 | Cite as

The Post-thrombotic Syndrome: The Forgotten Morbidity of Deep Venous Thrombosis

  • Susan R. KahnEmail author


The postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) is the most common complication of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) yet has received little attention from clinicians and researchers. Clinically, PTS is characterized by chronic pain, swelling, heaviness and other signs in the affected limb. In severe cases, venous ulcers may develop. PTS is burdensome and costly to patients and society because of its high prevalence, severity and chronicity. Preventing DVT with the use of effective thromboprophylaxis in high-risk patients and settings and minimizing the risk of ipsilateral DVT recurrence are likely to reduce the frequency of PTS. Compression stockings worn daily after DVT appear to reduce the incidence and severity of PTS but questions regarding their use and effectiveness remain. Future research should focus on identifying patients at high risk for PTS, assessing the role of thrombolysis in preventing PTS and evaluating the optimal use of compression stockings in preventing and treating PTS. In addition, new therapies to treat PTS should be sought and evaluated.

Key Words

deep venous thrombosis post-thrombotic syndrome epidemiology 


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© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineMcGill University, and Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Community Studies, Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General HospitalMontrealCanada

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