Exploring the Villalta scale to capture postthrombotic syndrome using alternative approaches: A subanalysis of the ATTRACT trial

Res Pract Thromb Haemost. 2022 Dec 27;7(1):100032. doi: 10.1016/j.rpth.2022.100032. eCollection 2023 Jan.


Background: Clinical trials that evaluated interventions to prevent postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) used the Villalta scale (VS) to define PTS, but there is a lack of consistency in its use.

Objectives: This study aimed to improve the ability to identify patients with clinically meaningful PTS after DVT in participants of the ATTRACT trial.

Methods: We conducted a post hoc exploratory analysis of 691 patients from the ATTRACT study, a randomized trial evaluating the effectiveness of pharmacomechanical thrombolysis to prevent PTS in proximal deep vein thrombosis. We compared 8 VS approaches to classify patients with or without PTS in terms of their ability to discriminate between those with poorer vs better venous disease-specific quality of life (Venous Insufficiency Epidemiological and Economic Study Quality of Life [VEINES-QOL]) between 6- and 24-months follow-up. The difference in the average area under the fitted curve of VEINES-QOL scores between PTS and no PTS ( Δ A U C ¯ ) were compared among approaches.

Results: For any PTS (a single VS score ≥5), approaches 1 to 3 had similar Δ A U C ¯ (-21.2, -23.7, -22.0, respectively). Adjusting the VS for contralateral chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) or restricting to patients without baseline CVI (approaches 7 and 8) did not improve Δ A U C ¯ (-13.6, -19.9, respectively; P >.01). For moderate-to-severe PTS (a single VS score ≥10), approaches 5 and 6 requiring 2 positive assessments had greater but not statistically significant Δ A U C ¯ than approach 4, using one single positive assessment (-31.7, -31.0, -25.5, respectively; P >.01).

Conclusion: A single VS score of ≥ 5 reliably distinguishes patients with clinically meaningful PTS as assessed by impact on QOL and is preferred because of greater convenience (only one assessment needed). Alternative methods to define PTS (ie, adjusting for CVI) do not improve the scale's ability to identify clinically meaningful PTS.

Keywords: Villalta scale; deep vein thrombosis; diagnosis; postthrombotic syndrome; quality of life.