This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in


Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Goals of treatment:

  • prevent pulmonary embolus, propagation of clot and recurrence of the DVT
    • around 50% of untreated DVT patients are at risk of developing a symptomatic pulmonary embolism
  • prevent severe post-thrombotic syndrome
    • most frequent chronic DVT complication
    • occurs in 30–50% of patients within 2 years after proximal DVT (1)
  • prevent loss of limbs due to venous gangrene
  • alleviate symptoms

The main measure to achieve these goals is to prevent extension of the thrombus with pharmacological and/or mechanical approaches


  • provoked DVT or PE in a patient with an antecedent (within 3 months) and transient major clinical risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE)
    • for example surgery, trauma, significant immobility (bedbound, unable to walk unaided or likely to spend a substantial proportion of the day in bed or in a chair), pregnancy or puerperium

or in a patient who is having hormonal therapy (oral contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy)

  • unprovoked DVT or PE in a patient with:
    • no antecedent major clinical risk factor for VTE who is not having hormonal therapy (oral contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy) or
    • active cancer, thrombophilia or a family history of VTE, because these are underlying risks that remain constant in the patient (2)


Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page