Incidence of Venous Thromboembolism in the Wake of the Clots in Legs Or sTockings after Stroke (CLOTS) Study
Background and Purpose—In the United Kingdom, compressive stockings were standard care in all stroke units until the publication of the Clots in Legs Or sTockings after Stroke (CLOTS) trial results in May 2009, which concluded that stockings were ineffective. The aim of this audit was to assess whether this change in practice was associated with any change in venous thromboembolism incidence in routine clinical practice.
Method—All stroke register entries at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire from 2 years before the publication of the CLOTS trial results to 2 years after were identified and included in this audit. The hospital radiology reporting system was then cross-checked for evidence of venous thromboembolism on computed tomography pulmonary angiogram, ventilation/perfusion lung scan, and leg Doppler reports.
Results—There were 773 patients in the before cohort and 861 in the after cohort (mean age, 74/74 years; men, 47%/45%; and ischemic stroke, 87%/85%, respectively). Symptomatic venous thromboembolism incidence was the same in both cohorts, 21 (2.7%) in the before cohort and 26 (3.0%) in the after cohort (P=0.8). There was a trend toward more deep vein thrombosis (9 [1.2%] versus 19 [2.2%]; P=0.1) and fewer pulmonary embolisms (12 [1.6%] versus 6 [0.7%]; P=0.2) in the after cohort.
Conclusions—Discontinuation of compressive stockings did not increase venous thromboembolism incidence. There was a trend toward more deep vein thrombosis and fewer PEs after CLOTS, which might be because of increased clinical vigilance in the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis, but a chance variation cannot be excluded.
- Received March 12, 2013.
- Revision received June 13, 2013.
- Accepted June 13, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.