Objectives: To assess the long-term mortality in patients with thrombosis of the vena cava, iliac and femoral veins.
Design: Registry study.
Materials: Between 1992 and 2000, 212 consecutive patients with acute pelvic vein thrombosis diagnosed by duplex sonography were examined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine the most proximal extent of the thrombus. MRI revealed a thrombosis in the inferior vena cava in 46 patients (22%), in the iliac vein in 142 patients (67%), and in the femoral vein in 24 patients (11%).
Methods: The vital status of the patients was investigated in April 2004 using the Austrian National Registry and the Cause of Death Register.
Results: A total of 211 patients of the original 212 patients were monitored over a mean follow-up period of 91 months. Seventy-two of 211 patients (34%) had died. There was no significant difference in the long-term mortality, the survival period or the occurrence of fatal pulmonary embolism (PE) between previously diagnosed vena cava, iliac vein, or femoral vein thrombosis.
Conclusions: Extension of a thrombus into the inferior caval vein in patients considered to have a pelvic vein thrombosis has no impact on long-term mortality or the development of fatal PE compared to those patients with thrombus limited to more distal veins.