Numerous randomized clinical trials have compared various durations of anticoagulant therapy with a vitamin K antagonist (ie, warfarin) for an initial episode of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Despite major advances in understanding the pathophysiology of thrombosis and its genetic basis, clinical risk factors at presentation have emerged as the primary determinant of recurrence risk. Following a minimum of 3 months of anticoagulant therapy, patients with VTE in association with transient risk factors (eg, major surgery, trauma, pregnancy) have a low annual recurrence risk, while patients without identifiable provocative risk factors have a recurrence risk of approximately 25% at 4 years with the highest annual rates occurring in the first 2 years. Extending warfarin therapy is highly effective in preventing recurrences but is associated with increased rates of major and minor bleeding. Clinical decision making therefore requires individualized assessment of recurrence and bleeding risk, coupled with patient preference. After 3 months of anticoagulant therapy for a first episode of unprovoked VTE, male sex, age older than 65 years, and an elevated D-dimer level 1 month after discontinuing anticoagulant therapy are useful parameters in identifying patients with an increased recurrence risk. The case of Ms W, a woman with unprovoked venous thromboembolism and hemorrhagic event while receiving anticoagulation, is used to illustrate clinical decision making to determine ongoing treatment.
Arrowheads indicate intraluminal filling defects within branches of the pulmonary arteries.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Users' Guides to the Medical Literature
Users' Guides to the Medical Literature
Back to the Clinical ScenarioPart 1
All results at
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.