Application of Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Devices and Graduated Compression Stockings in Venous Thromboembolism
Mustafa Razi, Jianping Gu*
Department of Interventional Radiology, Nanjing First Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, 68-Chang Le Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Venous thromboembolism is a disease, which is the combination of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Multiple treatments and prophylactic modalities are available, ranging from pharmacology to mechanical options. Intermittent pneumatic compression devices (IPCD) and graduated compression stockings (GCS) come in the mechanical modalities category and are useful options in venous thromboembolism, especially in those patients at risk of bleeding by pharmacological therapies and also to augment the effect of pharmacological therapies in some scenarios. In this review, a clearer understanding of the working and effectiveness of the above two mentioned compression devices is gained after reviewing the available literature with appropriate guidelines and recommendations for their uses in different scenarios, which helps in supporting the theory that their use can be helpful in supplementing the treatment and prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism. IPCD and GCS clearly have a role to play in the prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism. Studies depict and give support to the idea that IPCD's are effective as an individual therapy and also in combination therapy with thrombolytics. GCS like IPCD have also been shown to be effective both individually and in combination therapy with pharmacological modalities. Going forward, more targeted studies are required for both GCS and IPCD working and benefits for gaining a clearer consensus which would help in better incorporation of these modalities in the management of venous thromboembolism.