The aim of this single-institutional 10-year retrospective study was to investigate the clinical pattern (incidence, type, timing, and location) of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in Chinese patients with gynecologic cancer.
Cases were identified by searching institutional Electronic Discharge Database. A comprehensive review of medical documentation was then performed to collect relevant data. The detection of VTE was symptom-triggered.
A total of 155 VTE events were identified out of 7562 cases over the past 10-year period in our hospital. The incidence of clinically significant VTE was 2.0% in gynecologic malignancy, with vulvar cancer (3.7%) and ovarian cancer (2.5%) being the high-risk types (P = 0.01, Chi-square test). Perioperative period (35.1%) and preoperation (29.1%) were the 2 incidence peaks. Seventeen cases of pulmonary embolism (PE) occurred prior to surgery. Ovarian cancer patients were more likely to present preoperative PE compared to other site of cancer (76.4%; P = 0.01, Chi-square test). More preoperative VTE cases were complicated by PE than those in the perioperative period (39.5% vs 17.3%, P = 0.02, Chi-square test). Bilateral lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT) accounted for 32.6% and there existed a preponderance of left-sided DVT (47.5% vs 17.0%, ratio 2.79:1). Femoral vein (36.6%) was the most common location for DVT.
About 2.0% of the Chinese patients with gynecologic carcinoma developed clinical VTE, mostly during perioperative period and the time of diagnosis. The true incidence might have been under-estimated due to several reasons. The need for increased patient education and awareness of VTE is of importance.