Location of leg blood clots affects outcomes

The study, led by Dr. Behnood Bikdeli found that patients with DVT in the right leg had higher rates of pulmonary embolism.
Thromboembol in blood vessel. Clot formation.

(© stock.adobe.com)

A common vascular disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), can cause dangerous blood clots to form in the legs. A study led by a Yale investigator suggests that the location of the clot can make a difference in patient outcomes.

Using data from a large international registry, Dr. Behnood Bikdeli and his co-authors determined that patients with DVT in the right leg had higher rates of pulmonary embolism — a potentially fatal complication in which a clot fragments and travels to the lungs. Those patients also had higher mortality rates. But patients with DVT in both legs had the worst outcomes: Nearly half developed pulmonary embolism within 90 days of diagnosis, and a quarter died within the first year.

We are concerned that bilateral DVT is a more serious form of disease. It is possible that these patients may need a tailored treatment strategy, an issue that needs further investigation,” Bikdeli said.

Bikdeli is a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Yale School of Medicine.

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Media Contact

Ziba Kashef: ziba.kashef@yale.edu, 203-436-9317