Deep-vein thrombosis rates after major orthopedic surgery in Asia. An epidemiological study based on postoperative screening with centrally adjudicated bilateral venography

J Thromb Haemost. 2005 Dec;3(12):2664-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2005.01621.x.


Background: The incidence of postsurgical venous thromboembolism is thought to be low in Asian ethnic populations.

Objective: We studied the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) in Asian patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery of the lower limbs.

Patients/methods: We performed a prospective epidemiological study in 19 centers across Asia (China, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand) in patients undergoing elective total hip replacement (THR), total knee replacement (TKR) or hip fracture surgery (HFS) without pharmacological thromboprophylaxis. The primary endpoint was the rate of DVT of the lower limbs documented objectively with bilateral ascending venography performed 6-10 days after surgery using a standardized technique and evaluated by a central adjudication committee unaware of local interpretation.

Results: Overall, of 837 Asian patients screened for this survey, 407 (48.6%, aged 20-99 years) undergoing THR (n = 175), TKR (n = 136) or HFS (n = 96) were recruited in 19 centers. DVT was diagnosed in 121 of 295 evaluable patients [41.0%, (95% confidence interval (CI): 35.4-46.7)]. Proximal DVT was found in 30 patients [10.2% (7.0-14.2)]. Total DVT and proximal DVT rates were highest in TKR patients (58.1% and 17.1%, respectively), followed by HFS patients (42.0% and 7.2%, respectively), then THR patients (25.6% and 5.8%, respectively). DVT was more frequent in female patients aged at least 65 years. Pulmonary embolism was clinically suspected in 10 of 407 patients (2.5%) and objectively confirmed in two (0.5%).

Conclusions: The rate of venographic thrombosis in the absence of thromboprophylaxis after major joint surgery in Asian patients is similar to that previously reported in patients in Western countries.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply
  • Lower Extremity / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedic Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Phlebography
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis*
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Venous Thrombosis / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thrombosis / etiology