Education Blog for Healthcare Professionals

DVT and PE: How Long to Treat With Anticoagulants?

Explanation for Patients

The complex topic of “Length of Anticoagulant Treatment” for patients with VTE  is being addressed in a blog entry written for patients, found on the Clot Connect patient education blog (here).

For the Health Care Professional

Well respected treatment guidelines exist [ref 1,2].

  • The comprehensive ACCP (American College of Chest Physicians) guidelines are highly valued[ref 1]. They were last published in 2012.
  • A a very solid guideline, yet less comprehensive in some regards (does not cover DVT of the mid-thigh, or distal leg; does not cover superficial thrombophlebitis) was publishedin 2011 by the American Heart Association[ref 2].
  • For many health care providers, these guidelines are cumbersome to use in clinical practice and difficult to apply to individual patients, due to their extensiveness and complexity. Solid, down-to-the-point, practical “How-to” approaches have, therefore, been published [ref 3,4].


  1. Kearon C et al. Antihrombotic therapy for VTE disease. Antithrombotic therapy and prevention of thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest 2012;141(2)(Suppl):e419S-494S.
  2. Jaff MR et . Management of massive and submassive pulmonary embolism, iliofemoral deep vein thrombosis, and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. AHA A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2011;123(16):1788-830.
  3. Bauer K. Duration of anticoagulation: applying guidelines and beyond. Am Soc Hematol Education Program Book 2010;210-215.
  4. Goldhaber SZ et al. Optimal duration of anticoagulation after venous thromboembolism. Circulation 2011;123:664-667.

Disclosure:  I have no relevant financial conflict of interest with this blog entry.

Last updated: Feb 1st, 2013

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