Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: May 2013 - Volume 471 - Issue 5 - p 1523–1532 doi: 10.1007/s11999-012-2758-9 Symposium: Special Considerations for TKA in Asian Patients FREE

The Incidence of Pulmonary Embolism and Deep Vein Thrombosis After Knee Arthroplasty in Asians Remains Low: A Meta-analysis

Lee, Woo-Suk, MD, PhD1; Kim, Kang-Il, MD, PhD2, a; Lee, Han-Jun, MD, PhD3; Kyung, Hee-Soo, MD, PhD4; Seo, Seung-Suk, MD, PhD5

Background While Western literature has mostly reported the incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) after TKA with chemoprophylaxis, the Asian literature still has mostly reported the incidence without chemoprophylaxis. This may reflect a low incidence of DVT and PE in Asian patients, although some recent studies suggest the incidence after TKA in Asian patients is increasing. Moreover, it is unclear whether the incidence of DVT and PE after TKA is similarly low among different Asian countries.


Questions/purposes We therefore determined the overall incidence of symptomatic PE and DVT without chemoprophylaxis after TKA in the Asian population, determined whether the incidence had a tendency to increase over time in Asia, and compared the incidence of symptomatic PE and DVT among Asian countries through a meta-analysis.


Methods We searched the PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Google Scholar websites for prospective studies published between 1996 and 2011. A total of 1947 patients from 18 studies were reviewed for meta-analysis.


Results The incidence of symptomatic PE was 0.01%. The incidences of overall DVT, proximal DVT, and symptomatic DVT were 40.4%, 5.8% and 1.9%, respectively. We found no difference in incidence of symptomatic PE among Asian countries and no trends in changes of the incidence over time.


Conclusions The incidence of symptomatic PE and DVT after TKA without prophylaxis is low in Asian countries and has not changed over time, despite Westernizing lifestyles and an aging populace. Further investigation with large randomized studies is necessary to confirm our findings and identify risk factors predisposing to DVT.

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