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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 38-44

Thrombotic risk in cancer patients: Diagnosis and management of venous thromboembolism

1 Heart Department, University Hospital “San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d'Aragona”, Salerno, Italy
2 Department of Cardiology, Maggiore Hospital, Bologna, Italy
3 Cardiology Department, Portuense Hospital, Rome, Italy
4 Cardiology Department, University Hospital “Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino”, Molinette Hospital, Turin, Italy
5 Cardiology Department Echocardiography Laboratory, Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular, Policlinico “Vittorio Emanuele”, Catania University, Catania, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rodolfo Citro
Department of Heart, University Hospital “San Giovanni Di Dio e Ruggi D' Aragona”, Heart Tower, Room 810, Largo Citta di Ippocrate, Salerno 84131
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcecho.jcecho_63_19

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Venous thromboembolism (VTE) represents a major health problem, especially in cancer patients, who experience a significantly higher incidence of both deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism compared to the general population. Indeed, patients with cancer have a prothrombotic state resulting in both increased expression of procoagulants and suppression of fibrinolytic activity. In addition, VTE increases the morbidity and mortality of these patients. For all these reasons, the prevention and treatment of VTE in cancer setting represent major challenges in daily practice. In general, low-molecular-weight heparin monotherapy is the standard of care for the management of cancer-associated VTE, as Vitamin K antagonists are less effective in this setting. Direct oral anticoagulants offer a potentially promising treatment option for cancer patients with VTE, since recent studies demonstrated their efficacy and safety also in this peculiar setting.

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