After a stroke, patients with motor impairment face a risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the affected leg. Now, new research indicates that the unaffected leg is also at risk. About one-third of DVT episodes occurring in survivors of acute ischemic stroke occur in unaffected legs, researchers reported at the 16th annual European Stroke Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Researchers tallied cases of DVT in 1,248 survivors of acute ischemic stroke. Overall, 14% developed DVT. The researchers found DVT in the affected leg in 7.5% of patients and in the unaffected leg in 3.8% of patients.
Researchers say that factors other than venous stasis from general immobility may be responsible for DVT in unimpaired legs and stress the importance of prophylaxis with drugs such as enoxaparin to prevent venous thromboembolism.