February 2017 President's Letter
NATF is committed to keeping healthcare providers, patients, and the public informed about cutting edge innovative advances in the field of thrombosis.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health has invested millions of dollars in a multicenter U.S. randomized clinical trial called “ATTRACT.” This study is wrapping up, and the results will be soon. The premise of the trial is to test the “open vein hypothesis” in patients suffering an acute DVT. Patients with large leg DVT are randomized either to standard anticoagulation versus catheter-directed therapy with the clot-busting drug, TPA. The theory is that if the vein can be completely “cleaned out” with TPA, delivered through a catheter, that the likelihood of long-term adverse effects from the DVT will decrease.
The most important long-term adverse event from DVT is “post-thrombotic syndrome.” This results in a spectrum of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Mild cases have lower leg discoloration. Moderate cases have calf pain and swelling, especially when standing. And severe cases have ulceration of the skin.
Results will be presented in early March at a national medical meeting. Stay tuned!
To learn more about cutting-edge research and innovation in thrombosis, please register for and attend our live educational symposium on April 13 at Harvard Medical School’s Joseph B. Martin Conference Center.
Samuel Z. Goldhaber, MD