Multilayer compression bandaging in the acute phase of deep-vein thrombosis has no effect on the development of the post-thrombotic syndrome

J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2009 May;27(4):400-5. doi: 10.1007/s11239-008-0229-7. Epub 2008 May 15.


Objective: The purpose of this randomized study was to evaluate the influence of immediate multilayer compression bandages before application of elastic stockings in the acute phase of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) on development of the post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS).

Methods: Sixty-nine patients with acute symptomatic DVT were randomized to immediate bandaging (n = 34) or no bandaging (n = 35). After reduction of edema sized-to-fit elastic stockings were applied in all patients after 7-14 days. Follow-up visits and non-invasive examinations were planned after 7, 30 and 90 days and 1 year. Venous outflow resistance (VOR) was measured by strain gauge plethysmography. Thrombosis score (TS) and reflux were measured by duplex scanning. After one year patients were evaluated for clinical PTS using both the clinical scale of the CEAP classification and the Villalta score.

Results: Improvement of clinical symptoms and decrease of leg circumference was better on day 7 in the bandaging group, but after 1 and 3 months clinical symptoms had improved equally in both groups. In 7 patients in the no-bandaging group a bandage was applied after all because of persistent edema after 10 days. There were no differences in VOR, TS and reflux. Using the CEAP classification the incidence of PTS was 39% in patients with bandages and 42% in patients without bandages (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.50-1.66). Using the Villalta score the incidence of PTS was resp. 29 and 33% (RR 0.87, 95% CI 0.41-1.8). There was no difference in severity of PTS.

Conclusion: Immediate multilayer compression bandaging in the acute phase of DVT is effective in reducing edema and complaints in the first week, but has no effect on thrombus regression, valve incompetence and the development of clinical PTS after 1 year.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bandages
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postthrombotic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Postthrombotic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Postthrombotic Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Stockings, Compression*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Thrombosis / complications
  • Venous Thrombosis / physiopathology
  • Venous Thrombosis / therapy*
  • Young Adult