Up to one half of patients with deep vein thrombosis develop chronic post-thrombotic syndrome. Patients with this condition can experience leg pain, swelling, heaviness, water retention, hyperpigmentation and varicose veins and leg ulcers.
According to Dr. Susan Kahn, “Given that effective treatments are lacking, new approaches to managing post-thrombotic syndrome are needed. We performed a pilot trial to obtain data on the effectiveness of exercise training to treat post-thrombotic syndrome and to assess the feasibility of performing a multicentre study to address this question."
For the study, researchers followed 95 patients with post-thrombotic syndrome. Of the patients involved, 69 were eligible, 43 consented and were randomized, and 39 completed the study.
The authors wrote, "The findings of our small trial should be interpreted with caution and require confirmation in a larger study. As most of our patients were young, well-educated and active, the results obtained may not be generalizable to patients with post-thrombotic syndrome at other centers."
The conclusion offered by the authors indicates that exercise training may improve post-thrombotic syndrome and should be further examined as a treatment in future clinical trials.