Venous thromboembolism in Pakistan: a neglected research agenda

Document Type





Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is an important cause of in-hospital mortality. A local understanding of disease burden, occurrence, etiology and successful preventive and therapeutic interventions is of vital import. We aimed to review the current literature of VTE originating from Pakistan to determine gaps in knowledge in order to prioritize future research. An electronic search was performed using Pakmedinet, Pubmed and Google Scholar to retrieve research articles on thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary thromboembolism in Pakistan. The search included all years and no limits were applied. All original research articles presenting primary data from Pakistan were selected. Full texts were reviewed and information synthesized and summarized in our review. Eighty-one studies were found, out of which we were able to retrieve and review 77 (95%) full texts. A total of 6,501 patients are included in this review. Among the studies, we found 25 case reports/series, 1 case-control, 3 cohort, 20 cross-sectional, 1 quasi-experimental, 2 randomized controlled trials, 4 retrospective file reviews and 21 review articles. Most of these were small studies with only eight having a patient population above 100. Six studies presented incidence of DVT which ranged from 2.6 to 12.82% depending on the population under study. Two articles studied risk factors for DVT. Six looked at different treatment modalities, often comparing one modality to the other, while another 15 articles assessed diagnostic strategies. Preventive aspects of VTE were addressed by only three studies and all found the rates of thrombo-prophylaxis grossly inadequate. There is a dearth of quality research on venous thromboembolism in Pakistan. We describe key areas of neglect and recommend prioritizing research on epidemiological and preventive aspects.


Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis