Publications by authors named "Raffaela Anastasio"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Serial 2-point ultrasonography plus D-dimer vs whole-leg color-coded Doppler ultrasonography for diagnosing suspected symptomatic deep vein thrombosis: a randomized controlled trial.

JAMA 2008 Oct;300(14):1653-9

Department of Emergency and Accident Medicine, Civic Hospital, Conegliano, Italy.

Context: Patients with suspected deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the lower extremities are usually investigated with ultrasonography either by the proximal veins (2-point ultrasonography) or the entire deep vein system (whole-leg ultrasonography). The latter approach is thought to be better based on its ability to detect isolated calf vein thrombosis; however, it requires skilled operators and is mainly available only during working hours. No randomized comparisons are yet available evaluating the relative values of these 2 strategies.

Objective: To assess if the 2 diagnostic strategies are equivalent for the management of symptomatic outpatients with suspected DVT of the lower extremities.

Design, Setting, And Patients: A prospective, randomized, multicenter study of consecutive symptomatic outpatients (n = 2465) with a first episode of suspected DVT of the lower extremities who were randomized to undergo 2-point or whole-leg ultrasonography. Data were taken from ultrasound laboratories of 14 Italian universities or civic hospitals between January 1, 2003, and December 21, 2006. Patients with normal ultrasound findings were followed up for 3 months, with study completion on March 20, 2007.

Main Outcome Measure: Objectively confirmed 3-month incidence of symptomatic venous thromboembolism in patients with an initially normal diagnostic workup.

Results: Of 2465 eligible patients, 345 met 1 or more exclusion criteria and 22 refused to participate; therefore, 2098 patients were randomized to either 2-point (n = 1045) or whole-leg (n = 1053) ultrasonography. Symptomatic venous thromboembolism occurred in 7 of 801 patients (incidence, 0.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.3%-1.8%) in the 2-point strategy group and in 9 of 763 patients (incidence, 1.2%; 95% CI, 0.5%-2.2%) in the whole-leg strategy group. This met the established equivalence criterion (observed difference, 0.3%;95% CI, -1.4% to 0.8%).

Conclusion: The 2 diagnostic strategies are equivalent when used for the management of symptomatic outpatients with suspected DVT of the lower extremities.

Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT00353093.
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October 2008

Residual vein thrombosis to establish duration of anticoagulation after a first episode of deep vein thrombosis: the Duration of Anticoagulation based on Compression UltraSonography (DACUS) study.

Blood 2008 Aug 22;112(3):511-5. Epub 2008 May 22.

Cattedra ed Unità di Ematologia con trapianto, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Malattie Cardiovascolari e Nefrourologiche, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy.

Residual vein thrombosis (RVT) indicates a prothrombotic state and is useful for evaluating the optimal duration of oral anticoagulant treatment (OAT). Patients with a first episode of deep vein thrombosis, treated with OAT for 3 months, were managed according to RVT findings. Those with RVT were randomized to either stop or continue anticoagulants for 9 additional months, whereas in those without RVT, OAT was stopped. Outcomes were recurrent venous thromboembolism and/or major bleeding. Residual thrombosis was detected in 180 (69.8%) of 258 patients; recurrent events occurred in 27.2% of those who discontinued (25/92; 15.2% person-years) and 19.3% of those who continued OAT (17/88; 10.1% person-years). The relative adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 1.58 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85-2.93; P = .145). Of the 78 (30.2%) patients without RVT, only 1 (1.3%; 0.63% person-years) had a recurrence. The adjusted HR of patients with RVT versus those without was 24.9 (95% CI, 3.4-183.6; P = .002). One major bleeding event (1.1%; 0.53% person-years) occurred in patients who stopped and 2 occurred (2.3%; 1.1% person-years) in those who continued OAT. Absence of RVT identifies a group of patients at very low risk for recurrent thrombosis who can safely stop OAT. This trial was registered at as no. NCT00438230.
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August 2008

Deferral of assessment of pulmonary embolism.

Haematologica 2007 Mar;92(3):410-3

U.O di Ematologia con trapianto, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico Paolo Giaccone, Università di Palermo, Palermo, Italy. sergio.siragusa

We evaluated a simplified algorithm for safely postponing diagnostic imaging for pulmonary embolism (PE). At the index visit, patients were identified as being at high or low risk of PE; the former received full dosage low molecular weight heparin while the latter were left untreated until performance of diagnostic imaging (max 72 hours). During this period, no thromboembolic events occurred in low-risk patients (0/211, 0.% [upper 95% CI 0.9%]); only one event occurred in those at high-risk (1/125, 0.8% [upper 95% CI, 1.2]). Our study demonstrates that diagnostic imaging for PE can be safely deferred for up to 3 days.
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March 2007

Deferment of objective assessment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism without increased risk of thrombosis: a practical approach based on the pretest clinical model, D-dimer testing, and the use of low-molecular-weight heparins.

Arch Intern Med 2004 Dec 13-27;164(22):2477-82

Thrombosis and Hemostasis Unit, Division of Haematology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Background: Treatment of patients with suspected deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) is problematic if diagnostic imaging is not immediately available. Pretest clinical probability (PCP) and D-dimer assessment can be used to identify patients for whom empirical protective anticoagulation is indicated. To evaluate whether PCP and D-dimer assessment, together with the use of low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs), allow objective appraisal of DVT and PE to be deferred for up to 72 hours, patients with suspected DVT and PE were prospectively examined.

Methods: Patients identified with a high PCP or a moderate PCP with positive D-dimer test results received a protective full-dose treatment of LMWH; the remaining patients were discharged without anticoagulant administration. However, all patients were scheduled to undergo objective tests for DVT or PE within 72 hours. Standard antithrombotic therapy was administered when deferred diagnostic tests confirmed venous thromboembolism.

Results: In total, 409 consecutive patients with suspected DVT and 124 with suspected PE were included in this study. A total of 23.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20.3%-27.3%) of patients had confirmed venous thromboembolism. At the short-term follow-up (72 hours), only a single thromboembolic event (0.2%; upper 95% CI, 0.6%) had occurred, whereas at the 3-month follow-up, 5 events (1.2%; 95% CI, 0.2%-2.1%) had occurred in patients in whom diagnosis of DVT or PE had previously been ruled out. None of the patients had major bleeding events. Ninety percent of patients were treated as outpatients.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that this approach allows the safe deferral of diagnostic procedures for DVT and PE for up to 72 hours.
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January 2005

Managing cancer patients with acute venous thromboembolism: exploring safe alternatives to hospitalisation.

Exp Oncol 2004 Sep;26(3):192-5

Chair of Hematology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common and potentially fatal complication that frequently occurs in cancer patients. Few data are currently available about the optimal management of this category of high-risk patients. In clinical practice, physicians have to deal with many problems related to cancer patients with acute VTE. For instance, cancer patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are frequently admitted to the hospital since their high rate of recurrent thrombotic events and/or bleeding-related therapy; however, most of them would prefer alternatives to prolonged hospitalisation. Then, it is not clearly whether data coming from a non-cancer population (such as that regarding the use of D-dimer test and/or pre-test clinical probability [PCP]), can be reliable applied in cancer patients. Finally, scanty information is present on the feasibility of the "home-treatment program" for DVT in this category of high-risk patients. In our review we present data on a population of cancer patients evaluated at the Emergency Care in whom we have evaluated: 1) the diagnostic accuracy of PCP and D-dimer test; 2) the safety and efficacy of low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) as "protective anticoagulation" in case of deferred imaging for VTE and 3) the safety and efficacy of home treatment.
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September 2004