Brendan Gleason, Camilo Restrepo, William J. Hozack.
Response/Recommendation: While it seems a reasonable assumption that patients with a history of venous thromboembolism (VTE) are at higher risk of post-operative VTE, there is little high-quality literature available regarding the effect of type or timing of prior VTE on subsequent VTE risk.
Strength of Recommendation: Limited.
Rationale: It is well understood that surgical patients are at increased risk of VTE1–10. A collection of systematic reviews, consensus opinions, meta-analysis, and personal opinion statements all suggest that patients with a history of VTE are at a higher risk of subsequent VTE after orthopaedic procedures1–5,8,11. Based on one systematic review, these patients are up to 6 times more likely to develop symptomatic VTE after total joint arthroplasty (TJA) and have higher rehospitalization rates than average12. Unfortunately, little high-quality data is available specifically addressing patients with a history of VTE as most prospective trials evaluating VTE prophylaxis exclude patients with a history of VTE13,14.
As such, there is no concrete evidence to suggest whether the time interval or type of VTE affects the risk of subsequent VTE following orthopaedic surgical procedures. One of the largest studies of orthopaedic patients with a history of VTE found multimodal thromboprophylaxis to be effective in this population but they did not analyze the relative risk of subsequent VTE conferred by remote vs recent clot or deep venous thrombosis (DVT) vs. pulmonary embolism (PE)15. A large retrospective study by Ahmed et al., demonstrated that personal history of VTE was significantly associated with postoperative VTE but did not report the type or timing of prior VTE9. One study on non-surgical patients with prior VTE, demonstrated an increased risk of recurrent VTE as time passed. In this study, the risk of recurrent VTE was 17.5% after 2 years, 24.6% after 5 years, and 30.3% after 8 years16. Finally, a recent study evaluating risk-stratified VTE prophylaxis included patients with history of VTE in their high-risk cohort but did not report whether patients had history of DVT or PE17.
Given the lack of data on the subject, it is not possible to answer the question as to whether prior history of DVT and/or PE and the timing of these VTE events (remote vs. recent) definitely influence the risk of subsequent VTE following orthopaedic procedures. Studies directly addressing the question of how the type and timing of prior VTE affects the risk of subsequent VTE after orthopaedic surgery are recommended.
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2. Haas S. Prevention of venous thromboembolism: recommendations based on the International Consensus and the American College of Chest Physicians Sixth Consensus Conference on Antithrombotic Therapy. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2001;7(3):171-177. doi:10.1177/107602960100700301
3. Prandoni P, Sabbion P, Tanduo C, Errigo G, Zanon E, Bernardi E. Prevention of venous thromboembolism in high-risk surgical and medical patients. Semin Vasc Med. 2001;1(1):61-70. doi:10.1055/s-2001-14542
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13. Parvizi J, Huang R, Restrepo C, et al. Low-Dose Aspirin Is Effective Chemoprophylaxis Against Clinically Important Venous Thromboembolism Following Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Preliminary Analysis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2017;99(2):91-98. doi:10.2106/JBJS.16.00147
14. Sharrock NE, Gonzalez Della Valle A, Go G, Lyman S, Salvati EA. Potent anticoagulants are associated with a higher all-cause mortality rate after hip and knee arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008;466(3):714-721. doi:10.1007/s11999-007-0092-4
15. Gonzalez Della Valle A, Shanaghan KA, Nguyen J, et al. Multimodal prophylaxis in patients with a history of venous thromboembolism undergoing primary elective hip arthroplasty. Bone Joint J. 2020;102-B(7_Supple_B):71-77. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.102B7.BJJ-2019-1559.R1
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