Prevention and Management of Venous Thromboembolism in the Cancer Patient

  • Sajid A. HaqueEmail author
  • Nisha K. Rathi
Reference work entry


Venous thromboembolic disease is notably one of the leading causes of death in cancer patients and is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality. Malignancy-related physiologic abnormalities and certain anticancer therapies can lead to hypercoagulability. Critical illness also adds to the risk for venous thromboembolism in this cohort due to factors such as immobility and central venous catheters. Thus critically ill cancer patients are especially vulnerable to developing a venous thromboembolism, and a focus on prevention as well as clinical suspicion should be an initially high priority. Once a diagnosis is made, however, management of venous thromboembolism in oncology patients can be especially complex given the wide array of cardiac and pulmonary abnormalities that often coexist in this patient population, as well as the common contraindications that exist to standard therapy and anticoagulation. For critically ill patients with intermediate or high-risk pulmonary emboli, alternatives to anticoagulation or thrombolytic therapy need to be understood in the event that a contraindication such as severe thrombocytopenia or a high risk for bleeding exists.


Deep venous thrombosis Pulmonary embolism Venous thromboembolism Cancer Prevention Treatment 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Critical CareThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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