Researchers find reducing inflammation can help treat venous thromboembolism

New research from the University of Michigan has found that targeting inflammation in patients with venous thromboembolism could reduce rates of morbidity and mortality.

The study, led by Thomas Wakefield, MD, head of vascular surgery at the university, and Sumi Sood, MD, a hematologist and professor of internal medicine and surgery at University of Michigan, tested a selectin inhibitor’s effect on inflammation in healthy patients and in those with calf vein thrombosis.

“This has been a 25-year odyssey from the basic concept to the first-in-human clinical usage of the drug, and it worked well in the first patients,” Wakefield said in a statement.

An effective treatment for DVT, which puts patients at risk for pulmonary embolisms, is needed because currently, most physicians prescribe blood thinners to patients with the condition.

“Our goal was to stop clotting without increasing the bleeding complications,” Sood said in a statement.

Wakefield and his team have been studying inhibitors for 25 years and have found they are effective in treating thrombosis in rodents and primates.

They plan to launch more studies in the future on inhibitors and DVT, according to the study.