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In this study, dextran, when used early in the course of thromophlebitis appears to be an effective treatment. In the dosage range used here, there were no untoward reactions. The drug is easily administered, requires minimal laboratory control, and avoids the potential hazards of conventional anticoagulant therapy. Work by many investigators has shown dextran to be effective in increasing capillary-bed flow. We think that this study supports this thesis. The exact mechanism by which dextran brings these changes about is unknown, but by increasing suspension stability of red cells, dextran may prevent sludging or thrombosis at the capillary level.
Evidence presented by chemical changes in the blood suggests that there is capillarybed stasis; the associated arterial spasm is well documented by the plethysmographic changes. These tests constitute the most clearly objective evidence available for confirming a clinical diagnosis of thrombophlebitis. There is no evidence available that dextran is a thrombolytic agent, and the data presented upon patients with thrombophlebitis of longer duration than 48 hours confirms this.
No attempt has been made to compare dextran with other forms of therapy for thrombophlebitis. Further investigations will ultimately determine the role of this drug in thrombophlebitis.
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Received: December 31, 1963
© 1965 Published by Elsevier Inc.