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Lower extremity venous thrombosis in patients younger than 50 years of age

Authors Kreidy R, Salameh P, Waked M

Received 24 December 2011

Accepted for publication 16 January 2012

Published 13 March 2012 Volume 2012:8 Pages 161—167


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Raghid Kreidy1, Pascale Salameh2, Mirna Waked3

1Department of Vascular Surgery, Saint George Hospital, University Medical Center, University of Balamand, 2Laboratory of Clinical and Epidemiological Research, Faculty of Pharmacy, Lebanese University, 3Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Saint George Hospital, University Medical Center, University of Balamand, Beirut, Lebanon

Aim: Lower extremity deep venous thrombosis in the young adult is uncommon and has not been well studied in the literature. The aim of this study is to define risk factors for deep venous thrombosis among patients younger than 50 years of age, to compare them with a control group, and to suggest recommendations for the management and treatment of venous thrombosis in this particular group of patients.
Methods: From January 2003 to January 2011, 66 consecutive Lebanese patients (29 males and 37 females) younger than 50 years, diagnosed in an academic tertiary-care center with lower extremity deep venous thrombosis by color flow duplex scan, were retrospectively reviewed. Their age varied between 21 and 50 years (mean 38.7 years). The control group included 217 patients (86 males and 131 females) older than 50 years (range: 50–96 years; mean 72.9 years).
Results: The most commonly reported risk factors in the younger age group were inherited thrombophilia (46.9% compared with 13.8% in the control group; P < 0.001), pregnancy (18.2% compared with 0.5%; P < 0.001), treatment with estrogen drugs (13.6% compared with 2.3%; P = 0.001), and family history of venous thromboembolism (9.1% compared with 3.8%; P = 0.084).
Conclusion: Inherited thrombophilia is the most commonly observed risk factor among patients younger than 50 years, with a prevalence of three times more than the control group. Young adults should be screened for thrombophilia even in the presence of transient acquired risk factors. Pregnancy and treatment with estrogen drugs essentially when associated with inherited thrombophilia represent a frequent cause of venous thrombosis among young female patients. Inferior vena cava abnormalities should be excluded in young patients with spontaneous proximal venous thrombosis especially when recurrent venous thrombosis or resistance to anticoagulation are observed.

Keywords: venous thrombosis, lower extremities, young patient, risk factors, genetics

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