Does supervised exercise after deep venous thrombosis improve recanalization of occluded vein segments? A randomized study.

Nazim Isma, Ellinor Johanssson, Anna Bjork, Ola Björgell, Fredrik Robertson, Ingrid Mattiasson, Anders Gottsäter, Bengt Lindblad

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Objectives The aim of the present study was to evaluate weather early supervised exercise improves recanalization of acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and reduces symptoms. Patients and methods From September 2001 to March 2004, of 381 patients, 72 eligible patients were included and with a mean age 54 +/- 14 years, 39 (52%) men with deep vein thrombosis ( DVT) proven with phlebography were randomized to: an exercise group (n = 36) receiving routine anticoagulation, class II compression stockings and additionally supervised exercise and a control group ( n = 36) receiving the same therapy but no exercise. Patients were followed-up during six months. Phlebography was scored initially and at six-months. Results There were at inclusion no differences between the two groups regarding age, body weight, body mass index (BMI), calf circumference of the affected leg, and overall quality of life estimated by visual analog scale ( VAS)-scale. In both groups there were significant reductions regarding calf circumference in the affected leg compared to the inclusion time, both at one-month ( P = 0.0012) and six month ( P = 0.0002) follow-up. The degree of recanalization of the affected venous segments was high and did not differ between groups. There were no recurrent DVT or pulmonary emboli or other treatment complications in any individual during the six-month follow-up period. Conclusions Early exercise did not acutely exacerbate the risk of complications in patients with DVT. No benefits of early exercise were seen regarding the degree of recanalization of the thrombi, or faster resolution of pain or swelling. Nevertheless, our study shows that early exercise/ambulation is safe in combination with anticoagulation and compression stockings for the majority of patients with DVT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • recanalization
  • thrombosis
  • outpatient management
  • DVT
  • exercise/ambulation


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