Venous thromboembolism with chronic liver disease

Am J Med. 2011 Jan;124(1):64-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2010.08.014.

Abstract

Background: patients with chronic liver disease have both antithrombotic and prothrombotic coagulation abnormalities. Published data conflict on whether patients with chronic liver disease have a high or low prevalence of venous thromboembolism.

Methods: the number of patients discharged from hospitals throughout the US with a diagnostic code for chronic alcoholic and chronic nonalcoholic liver disease from 1979 through 2006 was obtained from the National Hospital Discharge Survey. We compared prevalences of venous thromboembolism among patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease and chronic nonalcoholic liver disease.

Results: among 4,927,000 hospitalized patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease from 1979-2006, the prevalence of venous thromboembolism was 0.6%, compared with 0.9% among 4,565,000 hospitalized patients with chronic nonalcoholic liver disease.

Conclusion: the prevalence of venous thromboembolism in hospitalized patients with chronic liver disease, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, was low. The prevalence of venous thromboembolism was higher in those with chronic non-alcoholic liver disease, but the difference was small and of no clinical consequence. Based on the literature, both showed a lower prevalence of venous thromboembolism than in hospitalized patients with most other medical diseases. It may be that both chronic alcoholic liver disease and chronic nonalcoholic liver disease have protective antithrombotic mechanisms, although the mechanisms differ.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / complications*
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology*