Medline ® Abstract for Reference 47
of 'Supportive care of the patient with locally advanced or metastatic exocrine pancreatic cancer'
Prevalence of venous thromboembolism at diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal cancer.
Larsen AC, Dabrowski T, Frøkjær JB, Fisker RV, Iyer VV, Møller BK, Kristensen SR, Thorlacius-Ussing O
Br J Surg. 2014;101(3):246.
BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancer increases morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of VTE at diagnosis of upper GI cancer.
METHODS: Patients admitted between February 2008 and February 2011 with upper GI cancer (pancreatic, extrahepatic biliary, lower oesophageal, gastro-oesophageal junction or gastric cancer) were investigated in a cross-sectional cohort study. At cancer diagnosis, all patients were examined for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by means of bilateral compression ultrasonography. From February 2009 and onwards, computed tomographic pulmonary angiography (CTPA) was also performed for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE).
RESULTS: Some 250 patients had ultrasonography; CTPA was performed in 143 patients on admission. DVT was detected in 13 (5·2 per cent) of the 250 patients, eight (3·2 per cent) of whom were asymptomatic. DVT was correlated with tumour location in the pancreaticobiliary tract (odds ratio (OR) 6·27, 95 per cent confidence interval 1·18 to 33·38; P = 0·031) and tumour stage IV (OR 19·34, 2·33 to 160·70; P = 0·006). PE was detected in 11 (7·7 per cent) of 143 patients, eight (5·6 per cent) of whom were asymptomatic. PE embolism was also significantly more common in patients with pancreaticobiliary tract cancer (OR 7·81, 1·28 to 47·62; P = 0·026) and in those with stage IV disease (OR 17·19, 1·83 to 161·50; P = 0·013).
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of VTE at cancer diagnosis was significantly higher in patients with pancreaticobiliary tract cancer than in those with other forms of upper GI cancer, and in patients with advanced cancer stage.
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.