Cancer-related thrombosis among older patients in a hospital in Vietnam: A retrospective study

Original Research


Introduction: Venous thromboembolism (VTE), a highly prevalent complication in cancer patients, causes prolonged hospitalization and mortality. This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of VTE in older patients with cancer.

Methods: This was a retrospective study. Data were extracted from electronic medical records at the Geriatrics-Palliative Care Department of University Medical Center Ho Chi Minh City. Inclusion criteria included: aged ≥ 60 years, confirmed or newly diagnosed with cancer, and new VTE diagnosis. Exclusion criteria included lacking any information on demographics, laboratories, or treatments. Pulmonary embolism (PE) was confirmed using chest computerized tomography scans, while deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and other types of venous thrombosis were confirmed based on a doppler or abdominal ultrasound. Data were analyzed using Stata 15.0, with p <0.05 signifying statistical significance.

Results: Data of 151 patients were extracted from 1170 medical records (median age: 67, range 60 to 89 years). The three most frequent types of VTE were portal vein thrombosis (48.3%), PE (30.5%), and DVT (29.1%). Stage IV cancer was found in 74.2% of VTE patients. Leg pain was presented in 59.1% of the patients with DVT, and dyspnea was confirmed in 80.4% of the patients with PE. Anticoagulant therapy was the most common treatment for VTE (33.8%) and no major bleeding was recorded.

Conclusions: VTE was highly common among older patients with advanced cancer. Leg pain was an indicator of DVT and dyspnea was a warning sign of PE in older patients with cancer. No major bleeding was recorded in those receiving anticoagulants. 

Graphical abstract