Cancer-related thromboembolic disease in patients with solid tumours: A retrospective analysis

K. J. Harrington, A. R. Bateman, K. N. Syrigos, R. Rintoul, R. Bhidayasiri, M. McCormack, H. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Cancer patients frequently suffer thromboembolic events. This study assessed the incidence and resource implications of cancer- related thromboembolic disease (CTD) in a single, large cancer centre. Patients and methods: A retrospective analysis of patients admitted with CTD and/or the complications of treatment of CTD over a two-year period has been conducted. Forty-eight patients (23 male, 25 female, median age 60 years) with a variety of solid tumours were identified. Results: The initial presentations were venous thromboses (28 patients) and pulmonary embolism (20 patients). The median interval from cancer diagnosis to the initial episode of CTD was eight (range 0-112) months. Twenty-two patients suffered additional thromboses, despite maintenance warfarin anticoagulation in 18 patients. Six patients experienced anti-coagulation-induced haemorrhage. Forty-one (85.4%) patients have died. The median survival from the first thromboembolic event was 8.5 months. The median inpatient stay for management of the first event was 10 (range 4-75) days, accounting for 729 inpatients days during the study period. Recurrent episodes of CTD or complications of anticoagulation resulted in 28 readmissions, accounting for 295 inpatient days. During the two-year period 1024 inpatient days were directly caused by CTD and its complications, representing 6.1% bed occupancy on our unit. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that CTD represents a significant cause of morbidity in cancer patients with considerable resource implications for cancer centres. Improvements in prevention and management of CTD would reduce morbidity and lead to considerable cost savings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-673
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticoagulation
  • Cancer
  • Complications
  • Resources
  • Thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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