Objective: Stenting of the iliac vein is increasingly recognized as a treatment for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). However, the pharmacologic management after stent placement is unclear. This review was conducted to illustrate recent trends in anticoagulation and antiplatelet regimens following stent placement for nonthrombotic iliac vein lesions (NIVL). Methods: The MEDLINE database was searched using the term “iliac vein stent.” Retrieval of articles was limited to studies conducted on humans and published in English between 2010 and 2020. Studies were included that described iliac vein stent placement. Studies were excluded that contained fewer than 25 patients, performed procedures other than stent placement, did not specify the postoperative anticoagulant used, or treated lesions of thrombotic origin. Results: 12 articles were included in this review, yielding a total of 2782 patients with a male-to-female ratio of 0.77. The predominant CEAP classification encountered was C3. The most common stent used in the included studies was the Wallstent (9/12), and the most common pharmacologic regimen was 3 months of clopidogrel (6/12). Warfarin, aspirin, cilostazol, and rivaroxaban were among other agents used. Primary stent patency ranged from 63.1 to 98.3%. There was no apparent correlation between pharmacologic agent used and stent patency or subjective patient outcomes. Conclusion: Multiple different approaches are being taken to pharmacologically manage patients following stent placement for NIVL. There is no consensus on which agent is best, nor is there a formal algorithmic approach for making this decision. Additionally, the findings in this study call into question whether anticoagulation following stenting for NIVL is necessary at all, given the similar outcomes among the different agents utilized. This review underscores the potential value of undertaking a multi-institutional prospective study to determine what is the best pharmacologic therapy following venous stent placement for NIVL.
- Iliac vein
- nonthrombotic iliac vein lesions