Which cancer patients are at a greater risk of catheter-associated venous thrombosis?

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“Cancer patients undergoing catheter placement who develop CVC-associated VTE have a shorter aPTT and aPTT ratio than those who do not develop VTE.” Senthil et al (2014).

Reference:

Senthil, M., Chaudhary, P., Smith, D.D., Ventura, P.E., Frankel, P.H., Pullarkat, V. and Trisal, V. (2014) A shortened activated partial thromboplastin time predicts the risk of catheter-associated venous thrombosis in cancer patients. Thrombosis Research. April 29th. [epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION: Hypercoagulability due to high coagulation factor levels resulting from host inflammatory response to cancer contributes to an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in cancer patients. Central venous catheters (CVCs) further heighten this risk. Activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) can be used to broadly screen for elevated levels of relevant coagulation factors. Our objective was to determine if a shortened aPTT ratio (coagulation time of test- to- reference plasma) was a predictor of CVC-associated VTE in cancer patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective case-control study on cancer patients undergoing tunneled CVC insertion at our center from 1999 to 2006 and identified 40 patients who had CVC-associated VTE. VTE was confirmed with color duplex ultrasonography or computed tomography scan. For each case, we obtained 5 controls that had the same cancer diagnosis and were matched on the following factors: age, chemotherapy, hormone therapy (if applicable), tobacco use, TNM staging and year of diagnosis. All patients had aPTT testing within 30days prior to surgery. We compared aPTT and aPTT ratio between cases and controls using Wilcoxon two sample test.

RESULTS: aPTT ratio was significantly shorter in patients with CVC-related VTE as compared to controls [0.86 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.78, 0.94) vs. 0.98 (0.94, 1.01), p=0.0003]. Mean aPTT was also significantly shorter. [25.6seconds (95% CI 23.2, 27.9) vs. 28.1 (26.9, 29.3), p=0.001] aPTT ratios of the controls tended to spread across larger aPTT ratio values whereas those of cases tended to clustered around the mean.

CONCLUSIONS: Cancer patients undergoing catheter placement who develop CVC-associated VTE have a shorter aPTT and aPTT ratio than those who do not develop VTE. aPTT, a simple and inexpensive test might be useful as a predictor of CVC-associated VTE risk in cancer patients.

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