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Anticoagulant therapy for venous thromboembolism detected by Doppler ultrasound in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer receiving bevacizumab

Authors Suenaga M, Mizunuma N, Shinozaki E, Matsusaka S, Ozaka M, Ogura M, Chin K, Yamaguchi T

Received 13 October 2014

Accepted for publication 1 December 2014

Published 27 January 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 243—249


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Jianmin Xu

Mitsukuni Suenaga, Nobuyuki Mizunuma, Eiji Shinozaki, Satoshi Matsusaka, Masato Ozaka, Mariko Ogura, Keisho Chin, Toshiharu Yamaguchi

Department of Gastroenterology, Cancer Institute Hospital of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan

Background: Doppler ultrasound imaging is useful for management of venous thromboembolism associated with a subclavicular implantable central venous access system in patients receiving bevacizumab (Bev). We investigated the efficacy and safety of our anticoagulant regimen based on Doppler findings.
Methods: Patients aged ≤75 years with metastatic colorectal cancer, no history of thromboembolism, and no prior use of Bev received chemotherapy plus Bev. Doppler ultrasound imaging of the deep venous system to detect thrombosis was performed after the first course of Bev and repeated after the third course in patients with asymptomatic thrombosis. Indications for anticoagulant therapy in patients with asymptomatic thrombosis were as follows: enlarging thrombus (E), thrombus >40 mm in diameter (S), thrombus involving the superior vena cava (C), and decreased blood flow (V).
Results: Among 79 patients enrolled in this study, asymptomatic thrombosis was detected in 56 patients (70.9%) by Doppler ultrasound imaging after the first course of Bev and there was no thrombus in 23 patients (29.1%). Of these 56 patients, 11 (19.6%) received anticoagulant therapy with warfarin, including eight after the first course and three after follow-up imaging. S + V was observed in four of 11 patients (36.4%), as well as V in two (18.2%), S + V + C in one (9.1%), E + S + V in one (9.1%), E + C in one (9.1%), E in one (9.1%), and C in one (9.1%). All patients resumed chemotherapy, including seven who resumed Bev. Improvement or stabilization of thrombi was achieved in ten patients (90.9%). Only one patient had symptomatic thromboembolism. Mild bleeding due to anticoagulant therapy occurred in six patients (54.5%), but there were no treatment-related severe adverse events or deaths. Severe thromboembolism was not observed in the other 68 patients.
Conclusion: Our anticoagulant protocol for asymptomatic thrombosis detected by Doppler ultrasound imaging was effective at preventing severe thromboembolism during continued treatment with Bev.

Keywords: venous thromboembolism, Bev, anticoagulant therapy, colorectal cancer

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