Therapy of isolated calf muscle vein thrombosis with low-molecular-weight heparin

Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2001 Oct;12(7):597-9. doi: 10.1097/00001721-200110000-00014.


There are no data from prospective studies concerning the treatment of isolated calf muscle vein thrombosis (soleal and gastrocnemial muscle veins), found in 20-40% of patients with lower extremity thrombosis of the calf. We investigated the outcome in two cohorts of consecutive patients, the first receiving low-molecular-weight heparin for 10 days at therapeutic doses and compression therapy; the second cohort, compression therapy alone. In patients on therapeutic heparin (n = 52), no progression to deep vein thrombosis occurred [0%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0-6.8%]. Patients without anticoagulation (n = 32) showed a statistically significant higher percentage of progression into the deep calf veins (25%; 95% CI, 11.5-43.4%) as well as recurrent muscle vein thrombosis. No symptomatic pulmonary embolism or bleeding event occurred; one patient died in each group, both related to malignancy. The data suggest a need for short-term anticoagulation in such patients to prevent further thromboembolic complications. Randomized prospective studies are now warranted in a larger study population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bandages
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / administration & dosage
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply*
  • Pressure
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Thrombosis / drug therapy*
  • Venous Thrombosis / therapy


  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight