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March 1989

Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis in Potential Neurosurgical PatientsA Randomized Trial Comparing Graduated Compression Stockings Alone or Graduated Compression Stockings Plus Intermittent Pneumatic Compression With Control

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Drs Turpie and Hirsh) and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Mr Gent and Ms Julian), McMaster University, and Hamilton General Hospital (Dr Turpie and Ms Johnson), Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(3):679-681. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390030131025

• In a randomized trial of neurosurgical patients, groups wearing graduated compression stockings alone (group 1) or graduated compression stockings plus intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) (group 2) were compared with an untreated control group in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In both active treatment groups, the graduated compression stockings were continued for 14 days or until hospital discharge, if earlier. In group 2, IPC was continued for seven days. All patients underwent DVT surveillance with iodine 125–labeled fibrinogen leg scanning and impedance plethysmography. Venography was carried out if either test became abnormal. Deep vein thrombosis occurred in seven (8.8%) of 80 patients in group 1, in seven (9.0%) of 78 patients in group 2, and in 16 (19.8%) of 81 patients in the control group. The observed differences among these rates are statistically significant. The results of this study indicate that graduated compression stockings alone or in combination with IPC are effective methods of preventing DVT in neurosurgical patients.

(Arch Intern Med 1989;149:679-681)