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IBD and Venous Thromboembolism: A Review

Timothy Card, FRCP, PhD1,2 and Thomas Chu, MB BCh, PhD1

Thrombosis has long been recognized as a complication of IBD, and a number of risk factors for VTE, such as inflammation, surgery, use of central venous catheters, and hospitalization are common in IBD. Indeed, VTE complicates up to 3% of all IBD hospital admissions, and there is a marked – approximately two-fold – increase in excess mortality among patients with both IBD and VTE. The prevention of VTE is therefore a key target for healthcare intervention in IBD patients. Unfortunately, trials of thromboprophylaxis and of antithrombotic therapy for VTE in IBD populations do not exist, and so recommendations are based on the recognition of the high risk and extrapolation from general or hospital population studies. In general, both thromboprophylaxis against and anticoagulant therapy for VTE appear safe in patients with IBD. In this article, the authors provide a detailed overview of the risk of VTE in patients with IBD, those patients who are at particular risk, and current national and international recommendations for prophylaxis and therapy. Inflamm Bowel Dis Monit 2012;13(2):58–64.

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