For Compression Hose, Length Matters

MedPage Today

Wearing compression stockings that extend above the knee appeared better for preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in stroke patients than calf-length compression socks, according to a randomized trial.

In the trial of more than 3,100 acute stroke patients, ultrasound scans showed proximal DVT in 6.3% of those assigned to thigh-highs compared with 8.8% who wore below-knee compression stockings (P=0.007), with about one month of follow-up, Martin Dennis, MD, of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and colleagues reported.

No survival difference was seen in the short-term study, reported online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Although the study had some significant limitations, Dennis and colleagues wrote that "it would seem sensible that thigh-length stockings should be the preferred option, at least until robust evidence indicates that below-knee stockings are both equally effective and more effective than no stockings."

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