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Treatment for superficial thrombophlebitis of the leg

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2018
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (69th percentile)

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1 blog
20 tweeters
2 Wikipedia pages


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Treatment for superficial thrombophlebitis of the leg
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd004982.pub6
Pubmed ID

Marcello Di Nisio, Iris M Wichers, Saskia Middeldorp


The optimal treatment of superficial thrombophlebitis (ST) of the legs remains poorly defined. While improving or relieving the local painful symptoms, treatment should aim at preventing venous thromboembolism (VTE), which might complicate the natural history of ST. This is the third update of a review first published in 2007. To assess the efficacy and safety of topical, medical, and surgical treatments for ST of the leg in improving local symptoms and decreasing thromboembolic complications. For this update, the Cochrane Vascular Information Specialist searched the Cochrane Vascular Specialised Register (March 2017), CENTRAL (2017, Issue 2), and trials registries (March 2017). We handsearched the reference lists of relevant papers and conference proceedings. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating topical, medical, and surgical treatments for ST of the legs that included people with a clinical diagnosis of ST of the legs or objective diagnosis of a thrombus in a superficial vein. Two authors assessed the trials for inclusion in the review, extracted the data, and assessed the quality of the studies. Data were independently extracted from the included studies and any disagreements resolved by consensus. We assessed the quality of the evidence using the GRADE approach. We identified three additional trials (613 participants), therefore this update considered 33 studies involving 7296 people with ST of the legs. Treatment included fondaparinux; rivaroxaban; low molecular weight heparin (LMWH); unfractionated heparin (UFH); non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); compression stockings; and topical, intramuscular, or intravenous treatment to surgical interventions such as thrombectomy or ligation. Only a minority of trials compared treatment with placebo rather than an alternative treatment and many studies were small and of poor quality. Pooling of the data was possible for few outcomes, and none were part of a placebo-controlled trial. In one large, placebo-controlled RCT of 3002 participants, subcutaneous fondaparinux was associated with a significant reduction in symptomatic VTE (risk ratio (RR) 0.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.04 to 0.50; moderate-quality evidence), ST extension (RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.22; moderate-quality evidence), and ST recurrence (RR 0.21, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.54; moderate-quality evidence) relative to placebo. Major bleeding was infrequent in both groups with very wide CIs around risk estimate (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.06 to 15.86; moderate-quality evidence). In one RCT on 472 high-risk participants with ST, fondaparinux was associated with a non-significant reduction of symptomatic VTE compared to rivaroxaban 10 mg (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.03 to 3.18; low-quality evidence). There were no major bleeding events in either group (low-quality evidence). In another placebo-controlled trial, both prophylactic and therapeutic doses of LMWH (prophylactic: RR 0.44, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.74; therapeutic: RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.77) and NSAIDs (RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.78) reduced the extension (low-quality evidence) and recurrence of ST (low-quality evidence) in comparison to placebo, with no significant effects on symptomatic VTE (low-quality evidence) or major bleeding (low-quality evidence). Overall, topical treatments improved local symptoms compared with placebo, but no data were provided on the effects on VTE and ST extension. Surgical treatment combined with elastic stockings was associated with a lower VTE rate and ST progression compared with elastic stockings alone. However, the majority of studies that compared different oral treatments, topical treatments, or surgery did not report VTE, ST progression, adverse events, or treatment adverse effects. Prophylactic dose fondaparinux given for 45 days appears to be a valid therapeutic option for ST of the legs for most people. The evidence on topical treatment or surgery is too limited and does not inform clinical practice about the effects of these treatments in terms of VTE. Further research is needed to assess the role of rivaroxaban and other direct oral factor-X or thrombin inhibitors, LMWH, and NSAIDs; the optimal doses and duration of treatment in people at various risk of recurrence; and whether a combination therapy may be more effective than single treatment. Adequately designed and conducted studies are required to clarify the role of topical and surgical treatments.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 20 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 78 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 78 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 16 21%
Student > Master 13 17%
Researcher 10 13%
Other 7 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 6%
Other 11 14%
Unknown 16 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 31 40%
Nursing and Health Professions 13 17%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 4 5%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 3%
Social Sciences 2 3%
Other 6 8%
Unknown 20 26%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 23. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 14 August 2019.
All research outputs
of 15,843,644 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,299 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 278,249 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 213 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,843,644 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,299 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 23.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 77% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 278,249 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 213 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its contemporaries.