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  • New in the Literature: Postthrombotic Syndrome (CMAJ. 2011;183:37-44)

    As exercise training may improve post-thrombotic syndrome, it would be feasible to definitively evaluate exercise training as a treatment for postthrombotic syndrome in a large multicenter trial, say authors of an article published in the January issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

    Patients were randomized to receive exercise training (a 6-month trainer-supervised program) or control treatment (an education session with monthly phone follow-ups). Levels of eligibility, consent, adherence, and retention were used as indicators of study feasibility. Primary outcomes were changed from baseline to 6 months in venous disease-specific quality of life (as measured using the Venous Insufficiency Epidemiological and Economic Study Quality of Life [VEINES-QOL] questionnaire) and severity of postthrombotic syndrome (as measured by scores on the Villalta scale) in the exercise training group versus the control group, assessed by t tests. Secondary outcomes were change in generic quality of life (as measured using the Short-Form Health Survey-36 [SF-36] questionnaire), category of severity of postthrombotic syndrome, leg strength, leg flexibility, and time on treadmill.

    Of 95 patients with postthrombotic syndrome, 69 were eligible, 43 consented and were randomized, and 39 completed the study. Exercise training was associated with improvement in VEINES-QOL scores (exercise training mean change 6.0, standard deviation [SD] 5.1 v control mean change 1.4, SD 7.2; difference 4.6) and improvement in scores on the Villalta scale (exercise training mean change -3.6, SD 3.7 v control mean change -1.6, SD 4.3; difference -2.0). Most secondary outcomes also showed greater improvement in the exercise training group.

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