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ISRN Hematology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 124610, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/124610
Review Article

Venous Thromboembolism: Classification, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Management

Thrombosis and Vascular Diseases Laboratory, Health Innovations Research Institute and School of Medical Sciences, RMIT University, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia

Received 19 July 2011; Accepted 9 August 2011

Academic Editors: J. Batlle, P. Chiusolo, and P. Imbach

Copyright © 2011 Fatemeh Moheimani and Denise E. Jackson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is categorised as deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). VTE is associated with high morbidity and causes a huge financial burden on patients, hospitals, and governments. Both acquired and hereditary risks factors contribute to VTE. To diagnose VTE, noninvasive cost-effective diagnostic algorithms including clinical probability assessment and D-dimer measurement may be employed followup by compression ultrasonography for suspected DVT patients and multidetector computed tomography angiography for suspected PE patients. There are pharmacological and mechanical interventions to manage and prevent VTE. The pharmacological approaches mainly target pathways in coagulation cascade nonspecifically: conventional anticoagulants or specifically: new generation of anticoagulants. Excess bleeding is one of the major risk factors for pharmacological interventions. Hence, nonpharmacological or mechanical approaches such as inferior vena cava filters, graduated compression stockings, and intermittent pneumatic compression devices in combination with pharmacological interventions or alone may be a good approach to manage VTE.