Semin Thromb Hemost 2011; 37(8): 885-896
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1297367
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Relationship between Venous and Arterial Thrombosis: A Review of the Literature from a Causal Perspective

Willem M. Lijfering1 , Linda E. Flinterman1 , Jan P. Vandenbroucke1 , Frits R. Rosendaal1 , 2 , Suzanne C. Cannegieter1
  • 1Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • 2Department of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
23 December 2011 (online)

ABSTRACT

Venous thrombosis and arterial thrombosis are traditionally regarded as two different diseases with respect to pathophysiology, epidemiology, and treatment strategies. Research findings of the past few years suggest that this categorical distinction may be too strict. However, whether the described relationship between venous and arterial thrombosis is real or a result of other factors such as confounding, chance, or bias is still unclear. In this review, we discuss the current literature while using causal diagrams to better understand possible causal relations between cardiovascular risk factors, atherosclerosis, arterial thrombosis, and venous thrombosis. Furthermore, we propose study designs to investigate the causal link between venous and arterial thrombosis. In addition, we comment on the effect of statin use on the occurrence of both arterial and venous thrombosis. The possible clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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Willem M. Lijfering, M.D. , Ph.D. 

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Centre

P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands

Email: w.m.lijfering@lumc.nl