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May 1960

Anticoagulant Drug Therapy for Thrombophlebitis in the Lower Extremities: An Evaluation

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, and Barnes Hospital. This study was supported in part by a grant from the National Heart Institute of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Public Health Service, H-2569(C3).

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(5):864-875. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290220156020

Patients ill of acute thrombophlebitis in the lower extremities frequently are treated by the administration of anticoagulant drugs for one to four weeks, by operative venous ligation, or by a combination of these methods. Therapy by bed rest, elevation, and elastic supports alone is not often recommended because ligational and anticoagulant therapeutic techniques are assumed to reduce the incidence of thromboembolic complications and hasten recovery from the illness.

This study was undertaken in an attempt to determine whether or not therapy for thrombophlebitis including an anticoagulant regimen is superior to the use of elastic supports, elevation of the leg, and bed rest without specific anticoagulant drug therapy.

Material  The case records reviewed were those of patients with venous thrombosis or thrombophlebitis in the veins of the lower extremities treated in the Barnes Hospital between Jan. 1, 1954, and Jan. 1, 1958. Patients dying of pulmonary embolus or other cause were

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