Full Length Article| Volume 164, P110-115, April 2018

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Diagnostic scales for the post-thrombotic syndrome


      • There are seven different scales for diagnosing PTS in clinical research.
      • Based on the existing evidence, the Villalta scale seems to be the preferred tool.
      • The specificity, and to a lesser extent, the sensitivity of this tool is unclear.
      • A gold standard method for PTS assessment has not been established.
      • Existing reports on PTS must still be interpreted with these limitations in mind.


      Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) is the most common long-term complication after deep vein thrombosis (DVT) developing in up to 70% of the patients. PTS is diagnosed on the basis of typical symptoms and signs of the lower limb with a previous DVT, but no objective diagnostic test exists. A number of diagnostic scales have been developed primarily for research purposes. An optimal diagnostic test for PTS should be reliable and easy to use, sensitive and specific, able to grade PTS severity, and to identify changes over time. We have identified reports on seven diagnostic scales that have been used for the diagnosis of PTS; the Widmer classification, the Clinical-Etiological-Anatomical-Pathological (CEAP) classification, the Venous Clinical Severity Score (VCSS), the Brandjes scale, the Ginsberg measure, the Villalta scale, and the Patient-reported Villalta scale. The aim of this paper was to review and present the existing diagnostic scales for PTS in adults and their utility in clinical studies.


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