por Lynn Shapiro
, Writer | September 15, 2008
"This research is critical. The Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation initiated a DVT research consensus panel four years ago, bringing together clinicians and scientists from all disciplines and from all settings-academia, private practice, government and industry-and determining the need for the ATTRACT trial," said Michael Darcy, M.D., chair of the board of directors for SIR Foundation, a scientific foundation dedicated to fostering research and education in interventional radiology. The SIR Foundation has been a critical partner in developing the ATTRACT trial, helping to coordinate the site selection process and partnering with the ATTRACT research team to conduct the trial, said Vedantham.
DVT is the formation of a blood clot, known as a thrombus, in a deep leg vein. This can be a very serious condition that often causes permanent damage to the leg, known as post-thrombotic syndrome. Early treatment with blood thinners is important to prevent a life-threatening pulmonary embolism, but blood thinners do not dissolve the existing clot, which remains in the leg. While many patients' clots will slowly dissolve over time, often the vein wall and vein valves become irreversibly damaged in the process. "PTS develops as a direct result of having the blood clot stay in the vein. The blood clot continues to block the vein and permanently damages its one-way valves, resulting in the pooling of blood in the leg, chronic leg pain, swelling and fatigue and sometimes skin ulcers. It's logical that immediate clot removal will prevent PTS," said Vedantham.
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The ATTRACT trial--the first NIH-funded multicenter, randomized trial of any interventional DVT therapy-will begin later this year. The trial will assess the presence and severity of PTS, quality of life, relief of pain and swelling, safety and costs. At least 28 U.S. clinical centers will enroll 692 patients and monitor their health for two years, said Vedantham, who is chair of the DVT Research Committee of SIR's Venous Forum and vice chair of the Venous Disease Coalition. The Society of Interventional Radiology is a member of the Venous Disease Coalition.
About the Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation
SIR Foundation is a scientific foundation dedicated to fostering research and education in interventional radiology for the purposes of advancing scientific knowledge, increasing the number of skilled investigators in interventional radiology and developing innovative therapies that lead to improved patient care and quality of life.