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December 10, 2007
Venous thromboembolism is a spectrum of diseases that includes deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. It is a common source of morbidity and an avoidable cause of mortality that typically occurs in high-risk persons or in specific clinical situations. The diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism can be challenging because of their nonspecific signs and symptoms. As a result, they are underdiagnosed and undertreated. Over the past decade, new diagnostic tools have been developed that obviate the need for invasive pulmonary angiography. Concurrently, new treatment paradigms have become available since the introduction of low-molecular-weight heparin for initial therapy. Long-term warfarin anticoagulation guidelines tailored to specific clinical situations have been developed by expert consensus.
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