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Identification of risk factors for incident venous thromboembolism and predictors of recurrent venous thromboembolism and appropriate antithrombotic prophylaxis and therapy are vital to improve survival after pulmonary embolism and prevent complications such as venous stasis syndrome after deep-vein thrombosis. Risk stratification is increasingly important; future prophylaxis and treatment strategies should be targeted to the patients who will derive the greatest benefit. For established antithrombotic agents, the most appropriate dose, dosing schedule, and duration of prophylaxis and therapy are being refined. In addition, new antithrombotic agents such as the oral direct thrombin inhibitors are being identified and developed. The management of acute arterial thrombosis (for example, acute coronary syndromes) is an important and relatively new indication for antithrombotic agents such as the low-molecular-weight heparins and the platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists.