The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 2, 563 - 568

Asymptomatic Deep Venous Thrombosis After Elective Hip Surgery Could Be Allowed to Remain in Place Without Thromboprophylaxis After a Minimum 2-Year Follow-Up

Tsuda, Kosuke et al.


It is not clear how to treat asymptomatic deep venous thromboses (DVTs) following elective hip arthroplasty because the natural course of DVTs is unclear. It is therefore valuable to understand the natural course of DVTs and their relation to thromboprophylactic methods.


We followed 742 consecutive patients who underwent elective hip arthroplasty followed by mechanical or chemical prophylaxis of a DVT. All patients underwent preoperative and postoperative duplex ultrasonography of both limbs. Patients who developed postoperative DVT in the popliteal or calf vein were followed without thromboprophylaxis. DVT-positive patients were prospectively followed up with duplex ultrasonography at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively.


Incidences of preoperative and postoperative DVTs were 3.9% and 33.0%, respectively. Nonfatal pulmonary embolism (PE) occurred in 1 patient after negative echography. All DVTs that developed in the calf vein postoperatively and without anticoagulation remained benign, and 93% of the DVTs ultimately disappeared.


These results confirmed that the natural course of asymptomatic distal DVTs is benign, with no risk of leading to PE. Thus, distal DVTs could be allowed to remain untreated without chemical prophylaxis to prevent PE in Asian populations.

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