Epidemiology of the post-thrombotic syndrome

Thromb Res. 2018 Apr:164:100-109. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2017.07.026. Epub 2017 Jul 24.


The post thrombotic syndrome (PTS) refers to clinical manifestations of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) following a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). PTS is the most frequent complication of DVT, which develops in 20 to 50% of cases after proximal DVT and is severe in 5-10% of cases. The reported prevalence of PTS differs widely among studies because of differences in study populations, tools used to assess PTS, and time interval between acute DVT and PTS assessment. The two most important predictors of PTS are extensive proximal character of DVT and previous ipsilateral DVT. Other reported risk factors include pre-existing CVI, obesity, quality of anticoagulant treatment, older age and residual venous obstruction. Standardization of PTS assessment tools combined with the development of patient self-reported PTS scales are likely to constitute a breakthrough in research of the epidemiology of PTS, by allowing comparison between studies, meta-analyses and increasing the feasibility of longer follow-up of DVT patients. This should enable identification of patient populations at high risk of severe PTS, new predictors of PTS and targets for potential new treatments. In this perspective, identification of biomarkers that are predictive of PTS such as markers of inflammation is crucial in ongoing research.

Keywords: Deep vein thrombosis; Epidemiology; Post-thrombotic syndrome; Risk factors; Venous insufficiency; Venous thromboembolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Postthrombotic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Insufficiency / epidemiology*