Isolated distal deep vein thrombosis in symptomatic ambulatory patients: a prospective data analysis and therapeutic feasibility study

Student thesis: Doctor of Medicine


Isolated distal deep vein thrombosis (IDDVT) is a condition recently suggested to be a different entity to that of proximal disease. There is currently little evidence defining the clinical importance of detection and treatment. International guidelines vary regarding management advice.An observational cohort study, prospective service evaluation and pilot randomised controlled trial were performed within a United Kingdom ambulatory thrombosis service. This project aimed to describe the burden of disease and explore three poorly researched aspects of IDDVT assessment and management: whole-leg compression ultrasound (CUS) performed by non-physicians within an ambulatory framework as a principal diagnostic modality; clinical presentation data and risk profile in comparison to that of proximal disease; the feasibility of further interventional randomised research and the risk/benefit profile of therapeutic anticoagulation.Within this ambulatory cohort, IDDVT accounted for 49.7% of acute thrombosis and differed significantly to proximal disease regarding provocation and symptomatology at clinical presentation. A negative whole-leg CUS excluded deep vein thrombosis with an adverse event rate (diagnosis of symptomatic venous thromboembolism during the 3 month follow up period) of 0.47% (95% CI 0.08 to 2.62). Future interventional research was proved feasible within an ambulatory setting.The randomised controlled trial conducted within this project is the largest to date comparing therapeutic anticoagulation against conservative strategy for the management of acute IDDVT. Patients allocated to therapeutic anticoagulation had significantly less overall propagation of thrombus (Absolute risk reduction [ARR] 25.7%, 95% Confidence interval 5.9 to 44.3 p
Date of Award1 Aug 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKevin Mackway-Jones (Supervisor)


  • venous thrombosis
  • anticoagulation

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