Patient Education Blog

Patient Survey about Blood Thinner Preferences

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Stephan Moll, MD writes…  A research study is being conducted at the University of Minnesota by Dr. Pamela Lutsey.  The goal of the study is to learn more about patients’ concerns and preferences regarding blood thinner use for the treatment of DVT and PE.  The results will help investigators better create future clinical studies to improve  treatment of DVT and PE.  This is NOT a pharmaceutical industry or marketing survey.  If you are a patient who has had a DVT or PE it would be great if you were willing to take the short survey.  It will take about 10 minutes to complete.  Thank you very much.  The following link will direct you to the secure survey site:

Last updated: Jan 28,2016



New DVT and PE Guidance Publication

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Stephan Moll, MD writes… A new consensus guidance for health care professionals on management of DVT and PE - link here - was published today, Jan 18th, 2016, in the Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis.  The publication contains 13 chapters on various aspects of DVT and PE (acute treatment, decisions on length of  blood thinner treatment, thrombophilia work-up, management at times of surgery, etc.).  It incorporates both evidence-based data and consensus opinion of the 52 international experts who wrote these chapters.  It is aimed at any type of health care professional who is involved in the management of DVT and PE – emergency room physicians, hospitalists, internists, cardiologists, hematologists, pharmacists and others.

Last updated: Jan 18th, 2016

New Guideline for treatment of DVT and PE

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The ACCP Chest Guidelines have been the main guide over the last more than 2 decades for evidence-based recommendations on best management of blood thinners for various indications, including DVT and PE.  The 10th edition of the chapter on DVT and PE management was published today – link here.

30 Recommendations

This 38 page document focusses on the best management of DVT and PE.  It provides 30 individual recommendations (page 7-19) and a discussion of the evidence behind the guidance.  It uses the terms “suggest” and “recommend” for its guidance, depending on the strength of published evidence.

Key Recommendations

  • Choice of blood thinner
    In patients with DVT of the leg or PE (and no cancer) the suggestion is to use one of the newer oral blood thinners (Eliquis, Pradaxa, Savaysa or Xarelto) rather than warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) therapy!
  • Cancer patients with DVT or PE: 
    In cancer patients with DVT of the leg or PE an injectable blood thinner called “low molecular weight heparin” (Lovenox = enoxaparin; Fragmin = dalteparin; Innohep = tinzaparin) is suggested rather than an oral drug.
  • How long to treat with blood thinners?
    • DVT (in veins in the pelvis, thigh or behind the knee, termed “proximal DVT) or PE provoked by surgery:  recommend 3 months of blood thinners.
    • Proximal DVT or PE  provoked by non-surgical transient risk factor (e.g. estrogens, pregnancy, leg injury, flight > 8 hrs): suggest 3 months of blood thinners.
    • Unprovoked proximal DVT or PE: suggest long-term blood thinners.
    • Distal DVT, i.e. below the knee
      • if not severely  symptomatic : suggest no blood thinners, but follow-up Doppler ultrasound imaging study
      • if severely symptomatic: suggest 3 months of blood thinners.
  • Role of aspirin:
    In patients with unprovoked proximal DVT or PE who stop blood thinners, aspirin is suggested.

Personal comment

This is a solid guideline and good publication.


Conflict of interest: None

Last updated: Jan 8th, 2016

Homocysteine and MTHFR Mutations – A Summary for Patients

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Stephan Moll, MD writes… A plain language summary for patients and interested public about homocysteine and the MTHFR mutations and their relevance in respect to blood clots was  published today in the journal Circulation (link here).

Reference:  Moll S, Varga EA.  Homocysteine and MTHFR Mutations. Circulation. 2015;132:e6-e.



Patient Volunteers Needed for Guideline Development

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Stephan Moll, MD writes…  The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is embarking on a program to develop clinically useful guidelines on the best management of patients with deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.  ASH appropriately desires input from patients for the development of these guidelines.  Any interested patient please see this letter from ASH explaining the goals of the project and what is needed.

Last updated:  July 1st, 2015

Clotting Disorders (Thrombophilia): Who Should Be Tested? What To Test?

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Stephan Moll, MD writes… A publication today in the journal Vascular Medicine discusses - for patients and family members – (a) in which patient with blood clots (DVT, PE) to consider testing for a clotting disorder, (b) what tests might be appropriate to do, (c) how the test results influence management with blood thinners, (d) what birth control methods are safe in women with history of blood clots or a clotting disorder,  and (e) in which family members to consider thrombophilia testing (link here for the article).


Disclosures:  None

Last updated: April 1st, 2015