Ultrasonic duplex scanning was used to study the rates at which lysis of thrombi, valvular incompetence, and symptoms of the postthrombotic syndrome (edema) developed in 21 patients after deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Lysis of thrombi occurred rapidly in most patients. In 11 of 21 patients (53%), recanalization occurred in all segments by 90 days after presentation. In four patients, extension of the initial DVT occurred between 30 and 180 days, despite treatment with warfarin. Valvular incompetence developed in 13 patients during the study period. The number of patent venous segments with incompetent valves increased from the initial presentation to 180 days, at which time 25% of patent segments contained incompetent valves. Valvular incompetence developed in previously thrombosed segments that were initially competent after recanalization and in segments not previously thrombosed. This suggested that although incompetence may occur as a result of a direct effect of the thrombus on the valve, other mechanisms must also be involved. Patients with edema early after DVT (from 7 to 30 days) were more likely to have residual occlusion than valvular incompetence. The late development of edema (from 90 to 270 days) was more closely correlated with valvular incompetence. © 1989.
Killewich, L. A., Bedford, G. R., Beach, K. W., & Strandness, D. E. (1989). Spontaneous lysis of deep venous thrombi: Rate and outcome. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 9(1), 89–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/0741-5214(89)90223-1