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March is Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month! Navigating the New Era of Pulmonary Embolism and Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment

March Awareness

In the rapidly evolving landscape of cardiovascular medicine, recent breakthroughs in the management of pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) mark a significant leap forward. This detailed blog post explores the intricacies of pivotal clinical trials and their collective impact on shaping modern therapeutic strategies, offering a beacon of hope for patients and clinicians alike.

In recognition of DVT Awareness Month, we delve into critical statistics highlighting the significant impact of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) on public health and the healthcare system. These figures underscore the urgency of awareness, prevention, and timely intervention:

Annual Incidence: Over 1 million Americans are affected by DVT and PE each year, signaling a widespread health concern.

Mortality Rates: PE ranks as the third leading vascular diagnosis causing death, with a notable mortality rate in untreated cases.

Long-term Complications: Approximately half of DVT patients might face post-thrombotic syndrome, affecting their daily lives.

Healthcare Costs: The treatment of acute DVT or PE episodes places a heavy financial burden on the healthcare system, with costs per patient often surpassing $10,000.

Awareness Initiatives: March, designated as DVT Awareness Month, plays a crucial role in educating the public and healthcare professionals about these conditions.

DVT and Pulmonary Embolism Clinical Trials: A Convergence of Innovation

The treatment of pulmonary embolism, a condition fraught with high morbidity and mortality rates, is undergoing a transformative phase, guided by the outcomes of several key clinical trials, including PEERLESS, APEX-AV, PE-TRACT, HI-PEITHO, and STORM-PE.


The PEERLESS trial is a pivotal study designed to compare the effectiveness of mechanical thrombectomy using the FlowTriever System against catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) in treating hemodynamically stable pulmonary embolism (PE). The study plans to enroll 550 patients, who will be randomized to either treatment strategy. The primary outcome focuses on a composite measure that includes all-cause mortality, intracranial hemorrhage, major bleeding, clinical deterioration, and ICU admission, evaluated at hospital discharge or 7 days after the procedure. Secondary outcomes will assess all-cause mortality, readmission rates, and adverse events within 30 days, as well as changes in the right-ventricular/left-ventricular ratio and quality of life assessments.

However, the specific findings of the PEERLESS trial were not provided in the accessed information, indicating that the results might not yet be published or available for review. This study is crucial as it’s set to provide key insights into the most effective interventional approaches for PE patients when advanced therapy is deemed necessary.

To learn more about the study’s design, eligibility criteria, and potential implications, visit the PEERLESS trial’s page on

Rationale and Design of the PEERLESS Study


Spearheading PE Treatment Advances

Each of these trials brings a unique perspective to the table, addressing different facets of PE treatment—from anticoagulation strategies and thrombolytic therapy to interventional techniques and the management of high-risk patient groups.

APEX-AV Trial Insights: This study focuses on anticoagulation efficacy and safety in a specific subset of PE patients, potentially reshaping risk stratification and anticoagulation protocols. The trial’s findings could lead to more personalized treatment plans, optimizing therapeutic outcomes while minimizing adverse events.


PE-TRACT Trial: Zeroing in on catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) versus standard care, the PE-TRACT trial offers valuable data on the procedural success, complications, and long-term outcomes of CDT, informing clinical decisions in acute PE management, particularly in hemodynamically stable patients with a high burden of clot.

PE Tract
PE-tract Spotlight

HI-PEITHO Trial: This investigation extends the original PEITHO trial’s scope by exploring the long-term benefits and risks of thrombolytic therapy in intermediate-high–risk PE patients. The outcomes may redefine the utility of thrombolytics, balancing efficacy in reducing PE recurrence and mortality against the risk of major bleeding.


The RESCUE Trial: the study evaluated the Bashir endovascular catheter for pharmacomechanical catheter-directed thrombolysis (PM-CDT) in patients with intermediate-risk acute pulmonary embolism (PE). The study aimed to assess the device’s efficacy in improving right ventricular/left ventricular (RV/LV) diameter ratios and its safety in terms of serious adverse events, including major bleeding.

Involving 109 patients across 18 U.S. sites, the study found a significant 33.3% reduction in the RV/LV diameter ratio and a 35.9% decrease in pulmonary artery obstruction 48 hours post-treatment. The safety profile was favorable, with only a 0.92% incidence of serious adverse events. These results indicate that PM-CDT with the Bashir catheter is an effective and safe treatment for intermediate-risk acute PE, offering significant improvements with minimal complications. The study highlights the potential for broader adoption of this treatment, though it calls for further research to confirm these findings.

Central Illustration

STORM-PE Study: With a focus on mechanical thrombectomy, STORM-PE sheds light on this emerging intervention’s role in managing acute PE. By evaluating procedural success rates, hemodynamic improvements, and patient recovery trajectories, STORM-PE contributes critical insights into the expanding arsenal against PE.


Read more about these PE clinical trials here.

Deep Vein Thrombosis: Shifting Paradigms in Treatment

Parallel to advancements in PE management, the approach to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is being refined and enhanced by recent studies, including groundbreaking work on pharmacomechanical catheter-directed thrombolysis and innovative compression therapy techniques.

Pharmacomechanical Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis:

A New Dawn in DVT Care

The advent of pharmacomechanical catheter-directed thrombolysis (PCDT) represents a significant milestone in DVT treatment, offering a minimally invasive option that combines mechanical clot disruption with targeted drug delivery. This method promises to reduce the clot burden rapidly, alleviate symptoms, and potentially lower the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), a debilitating long-term complication of DVT.

Read more about PCDT in DVT treatment here.

Compression Therapy Innovations: The CELEST Trial and Beyond

The CELEST trial challenges existing norms by comparing 25 mm Hg versus 35 mm Hg elastic compression stockings in preventing PTS after DVT. Its findings could lead to a paradigm shift in post-DVT care, optimizing compression therapy to balance efficacy and patient compliance.

Explore the CELEST trial findings here.

The EINSTEIN Clinical Trial Programme: Rivaroxaban at the Forefront

The EINSTEIN clinical trial programme has been instrumental in establishing rivaroxaban, a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC), as a cornerstone in both DVT and PE management. Its convenience, efficacy, and safety profile offer a compelling alternative to traditional vitamin K antagonists, streamlining anticoagulation therapy and enhancing patient quality of life.

Further insights into the EINSTEIN programme and Rivaroxaban can be found here.

Integrating Innovations: The Path Forward in PE and DVT Treatment

The confluence of findings from these diverse clinical trials heralds a new era in PE and DVT management, emphasizing personalized medicine, multidisciplinary care, and patient-centered approaches. By carefully integrating these innovations, healthcare professionals can significantly improve treatment outcomes, reduce complications, and ultimately transform the lives of those affected by these challenging conditions.

In conclusion, the dynamic field of PE and DVT treatment continues to evolve, driven by relentless research and clinical inquiry. As we delve deeper into the nuances of each study and embrace the collaborative spirit of medical science, the future for patients with these conditions looks brighter than ever.

Joining Forces with Leading Organizations

Several organizations are at the forefront of research, patient advocacy, and education in the realm of thrombosis. Engaging with these entities can offer resources, community support, and opportunities to contribute to the cause.

  • American Society of Hematology (ASH): A leading organization dedicated to furthering the understanding and treatment of hematologic malignancies and disorders, including thrombosis. Visit ASH
  • Thrombosis Research Institute (TRI): TRI is committed to reducing the global burden of thrombosis through scientific research and education. Explore TRI
  • International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH): ISTH promotes understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of thrombotic and bleeding disorders. Join ISTH

Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns

Raising awareness is crucial in the fight against DVT and PE. Campaigns like the White Sock Campaign, initiated by the National Blood Clot Alliance, symbolize the struggle of those affected by DVT and aim to spread knowledge about prevention and early detection.

  • White Sock Campaign: An initiative encouraging individuals to wear one white sock to symbolize the often invisible signs of DVT and to stand in solidarity with those affected. Learn more about the White Sock Campaign
White Socks display
White Socks display

Patient Support and Resources

Providing patients and their families with access to reliable information, support networks, and resources is essential for navigating the challenges of DVT and PE.

  • Stop the Clot: A resource by the National Blood Clot Alliance offering patient stories, educational materials, and support for those affected by blood clots. Visit Stop the Clot
  • Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) Consortium: Dedicated to the advancement of care for patients with PE, providing educational materials, research, and a collaborative network. Explore PERT Consortium
  • Clot Connect: An educational outreach program providing information on the prevention and treatment of blood clots and clotting disorders. Access Clot Connect
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