Compression with or without early ambulation in the prevention of post-thrombotic syndrome: A systematic review
Introduction. The aim of this study was to assess whether there is enough evidence to suggest that compression with or without early ambulation after proximal DVT reduces the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). Methods. Systematic review based on electronic and hand searching of the relevant literature. Results. Four randomized studies were identified and despite the fact that there was lack of uniformity in reporting standards all but one showed significant risk reduction of PTS using compression. No difference in recurrent thromboembolic events (DVT or pulmonary embolism) was observed between the compression and control group. In one study the early outcome from the combination of early ambulation with compression was faster reduction of swelling with better well-being without increased risk of PE compared to the control group. Pooled analysis of all studies showed that PTS developed in 24% (61/254) in the compression group and in 46% (110/239) in the control group (chi(2)=25.36, p=0.0001; OR: 0.37, 95%CI: 0.25, 0.54; RR: 0.52, 95%CI: 0.40, 0.67; and RRR: 0.48, 95%CI: 0.33, 0.60) with a 48% risk reduction from the use of compression. Conclusion. Despite the fact that compression with or without early ambulation appears to be safe and it is more often associated with a decreased rate of PTS, the four existing studies do not permit meaningful data comparison due to lack of uniformity in reporting standards.