Randomized Controlled Trial of a New Portable Calf Compression Device (Venowave) for Prevention of Venous Thrombosis in High-Risk Neurosurgical Patients

J Thromb Haemost. 2012 Feb;10(2):229-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2011.04598.x.


Background: Patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures are at risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), but often have contraindications for anticoagulant prophylaxis.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy and tolerability of a new, lightweight, portable, battery-powered, intermittent calf compression device, Venowave, for the prevention of VTE in neurosurgical inpatients.

Patients/methods: We performed an open randomized controlled trial comparing Venowave with control for the prevention of VTE in patients undergoing neurosurgery. The primary outcome was the composite of asymptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) detected by screening venography or compression ultrasound performed on day 9 (± 2 days) and symptomatic VTE.

Results: We randomized 75 patients to receive Venowave devices and 75 to the control group. All patients were prescribed graduated compression stockings and physiotherapy. VTE occurred in three patients randomized to Venowave and in 14 patients randomized to control (4.0% vs. 18.7%, relative risk 0.21; 95% confidence interval 0.05-0.75, P = 0.008). Similar reductions were seen for proximal DVT (2.7% vs. 8.0%) and symptomatic VTE (0% vs. 2.7%), and the results were consistent in all subgroups examined.

Conclusions: Venowave devices are effective in preventing VTE in high-risk neurosurgical patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Devices*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Phlebography
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Pressure
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Stockings, Compression
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Venous Thrombosis / etiology
  • Venous Thrombosis / prevention & control*