Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 469, Issue 12, pp 3423–3428 | Cite as

Deep Venous Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism are Uncommon in East Asian Patients after Total Hip Arthroplasty

  • Bun Jung Kang
  • Young-Kyun Lee
  • Hee Joong Kim
  • Yong-Chan Ha
  • Kyung-Hoi Koo
Clinical Research



In Western countries, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), are relatively common after THA and many surgeons recommend routine pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis. There is some suggestion in the literature that the incidences of DVT and PE may be lower in East Asian patients. Therefore, it would be important to establish the incidences in a large number of East Asian patients who did not receive pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis.


We therefore determined the incidence of DVT and PE and evaluated the associated risk factors in a series of East Asian patients who underwent primary THA without pharmacologic prophylaxis.


We retrospectively evaluated all 861 patients who underwent 992 elective primary THAs from May 2003 to December 2009. We identified patients with symptomatic DVT, symptomatic PE, and fatal PE. For potential risk factors we considered age, gender, body mass index (BMI), administration of aspirin, type of anesthesia, operation time, approach, simultaneous bilateral THAs, and duration of immobilization between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.


We identified eight patients with symptomatic DVT, one of whom also had a symptomatic PE; there were no cases of fatal PE. The incidences of fatal PE, symptomatic PE, and symptomatic DVT were 0 %, 0.1 %, and 0.8 %, respectively. Longer duration of immobilization predicted symptomatic DVT or PE.


East Asian patients have a low incidence of symptomatic DVT and PE and virtually no fatal PEs after primary THA. The incidences and risk factors should be taken into consideration when deciding whether to prophylactically treat these patients with pharmacologic agents.

Level of Evidence

Level IV, prognostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.



We thank Chong Bum Chang MD for statistical advice.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bun Jung Kang
    • 1
  • Young-Kyun Lee
    • 2
  • Hee Joong Kim
    • 3
  • Yong-Chan Ha
    • 4
  • Kyung-Hoi Koo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgerySM Christianity HospitalGyeongbukSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgerySeoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnamSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic SurgerySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryChung-Ang University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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