Venous thromboembolism: Recent advancement and future perspective

J Cardiol. 2022 Jan;79(1):79-89. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2021.08.026. Epub 2021 Sep 10.


Clinicians have been more and more often encountering patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE), including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis, leading to the increased importance of VTE in daily clinical practice. VTE is becoming a common issue in Asian countries including Japan. The management strategies of VTE have changed dramatically in the past decade including the introduction of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). In addition, there have been several landmark clinical trials assessing acute treatment strategies including thrombolysis and inferior vena cava (IVC) filter. The current VTE guidelines do not recommend the routine use of thrombolysis or IVC filters based on recent evidence; Nevertheless, the prevalence of thrombolysis and IVC filter use in Japan was strikingly high. The novel profiles of DOACs with rapid onset of action and potential benefit of a lower risk for bleeding compared with vitamin K antagonist could make home treatment feasible and is safer even with extended anticoagulation therapy. One of the most clinically relevant issues for VTE treatment is optimal duration of anticoagulation for the secondary prevention of VTE. Considering recent evidence, optimal duration of anticoagulation should be determined based on the risk for recurrence as well as the risk for bleeding in an individual patient. Despite the recent advances for VTE management, there are still a number of uncertain issues that challenge clinicians in daily clinical practice, such as cancer-associated VTE and minor VTE including subsegmental pulmonary embolism and distal deep vein thrombosis, warranting future research. Several clinical trials are now ongoing for these issues, globally as well as in Japan. The current review is aimed to overview the recent advances in VTE management, describe the current status including some domestic issues in Japan, and discuss the future perspective of VTE.

Keywords: Deep vein thrombosis; Direct oral anticoagulant; Pulmonary embolism; Venous thromboembolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Embolism* / etiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism* / prevention & control
  • Vena Cava Filters*
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / epidemiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / etiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / prevention & control
  • Venous Thrombosis* / drug therapy


  • Anticoagulants