The incidence of venous thromboembolism and practice of deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis in hospitalized cirrhotic patients

Thromb J. 2011 Jan 18;9(1):1. doi: 10.1186/1477-9560-9-1.


Background: Cirrhotic patients are characterized by a decreased synthesis of coagulation and anticoagulation factors. The coagulopathy of cirrhotic patients is considered to be auto-anticoagulation. Our aim was to determine the incidence and predictors of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and examine the practice of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis among hospitalized cirrhotic patients.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed in a tertiary teaching hospital. We included all adult patients admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009. We grouped our cohort patients in two groups, cirrhotic patients without VTE and cirrhotic with VTE.

Results: Over one year, we included 226 cirrhotic patients, and the characteristics of both groups were similar regarding their clinical and laboratory parameters and their outcomes. Six patients (2.7%) developed VTE, and all of the VTEs were DVT. Hepatitis C was the most common (51%) underlying cause of liver cirrhosis, followed by hepatitis B (22%); 76% of the cirrhotic patients received neither pharmacological nor mechanical DVT prophylaxis.

Conclusion: Cirrhotic patients are at risk for developing VTE. The utilization of DVT prophylaxis was suboptimal.