Prevention of venous thrombosis after electrophysiology procedures: a survey of national practice
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Femoral venous access is required for most electrophysiology procedures. Limited data are available regarding post-procedure venous thromboembolism (VTE), specifically deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Potential preventative strategies are unclear. We aimed to survey Canadian centers regarding incidence of VTE and strategies for prevention of VTE after procedures that do not require post-procedure anticoagulation.
An online survey was distributed to electrophysiologists representing major Canadian EP centers. Participants responded regarding procedural volume, incidence of VTE post-procedure, and their practice regarding pharmacological and non-pharmacological peri-procedural VTE prophylaxis.
The survey included 17 centers that performed a total of 6062 procedures in 2016. Ten patients (0.16%) had VTE (including 9 DVTs and 6 PEs) after diagnostic electrophysiology studies and right-sided ablation procedures excluding atrial flutter. Five centers (41.6%) administered systemic intravenous heparin during both diagnostic electrophysiology studies and right-sided ablation procedures. For patients taking oral anticoagulants, 10 centers (58.8%) suspend therapy prior to the procedure. Two centers (11.8%) routinely prescribed post-procedure pharmacologic prophylaxis for VTE. Four centers (23.5%) used compression dressings post-procedure and all prescribed bed rest for a maximum of 6 h. Of the variables collected in the survey, none were found to be predictive of VTE.
VTE is not a common complication of EP procedures. There is significant variability in the strategies used to prevent VTE events. Future research is required to evaluate strategies to reduce the risk of VTE that may be incorporated into EP practice guidelines.
KeywordsElectrophysiology study Ablation Deep vein thrombosis Prevention Prophylaxis
Drs. Essebag, Sapp, Joza, Andrade, Birnie, Healey, Leong-Sit, Philippon, Redfearn, and Sandhu are Network Investigators of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet).
This work was supported by a Clinical Research Scholar Award to Vidal Essebag from Fonds de recherche du Quebec-Santé (FRQS).
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was approved by the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Research Ethics Board (REB).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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