Measurement properties of the Villalta scale to define and classify the severity of the post-thrombotic syndrome

J Thromb Haemost. 2009 May;7(5):884-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2009.03339.x. Epub 2009 Mar 6.


The post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) is a frequent and important complication of deep venous thrombosis (DVT). The diagnosis of PTS is based primarily on the presence of typical symptoms and clinical signs. In the 1990s, a clinical scale known as the Villalta scale was proposed as a measure that could be used to diagnose and classify the severity of PTS. The objective of the present paper was to review the published evidence on the measurement properties of the Villalta scale. Results of the review demonstrate that the Villalta scale is a reliable and valid measure of PTS in patients with previous, objectively confirmed DVT. The scale is acceptable to research subjects and research personnel, and shows responsiveness to clinical change in PTS. Aspects of the Villalta scale that merit further evaluation include test-retest reliability, more detailed assessment of ulcer severity and assessment of responsiveness across the full range of PTS severity. Research aimed at improving the measurement of PTS will also help to improve the overall validity of findings generated by clinical studies of PTS.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Venous Thrombosis / complications*
  • Venous Thrombosis / physiopathology