Canadian researchers have recently published a systematic review and meta-analysis which examined the rates of symptomatic recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) following cessation of anticoagulant treatment for patients with a first unprovoked VTE. Analysis of 18 studies (7,515 patients who completed at least 3 months of anticoagulation treatment) determined that recurrent VTE risk was 10% at 1 year following treatment discontinuation, 16% at 2 years, 25% at 5 years and 36% at 10 years, with the proportion of recurrent VTE leading to death being 4%. The analysis also found that there was a higher rate of recurrent VTE in patients with proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and those with pulmonary embolism + DVT in comparison to patients with isolated pulmonary embolism. The estimates calculated in this study can be clinically applied to improve patient counselling and management of unprovoked VTE. The original research can be viewed here.

Contributed by Australian Medication Safety Services Associate – Isabella Singh