Thromboembolic Events Among Cancer Patients Treated with Chemotherapy at Adult Oncology Unit of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital: A Retrospective Study

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Addis Abeba University


Venous thromboembolism is a common problem in patients treated for cancer, although the reported incidence varies widely between studies. Unlike other countries, in Ethiopia to our knowledge no such studies had been done yet and the findings of this study will assist treatment decisions in adult patients treated at the oncology unit of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital. Hence, this study was aimed to assess the incidence of thromboembolic events events among cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and their characteristics. An institution-based retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted from 1 st March, 2019 to 1 st June, 2019. Data were collected retrospectively from a total of 423 patient medical records. Patients who have received at least a single cycle of any chemotherapy regimen was included in the study. Systematic random sampling technique was employed to recruit the study participants. The data were entered into Epi-info version 7 and then exported to and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 25. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data while binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine factors associated with the risk of thromboembolic events among cancer patients treated by chemotherapy. P-value <0.05 was considered as statistically significant. The median age of study participants was 43 years, which ranged from 14 to 83 years. Majority of the study participants were treated for breast cancer. Thromboembolic events encountered in 43 (10.2 %) of patients, from which the commonest one being deep venous thrombosis 36 (85.7 %), followed by myocardial infarction 5 (11.9 %), and pulmonary embolism 1 (2.4 %). In multivariable logistic regression, blood transfusion, a primary site of cancer with gastrointestinal malignancy and performance status showed statically significant association. The incidence of thromboembolic events among cancer patients who had been treated by chemotherapy was high compared to other studies. Hence, other prospective randomized trials are needed to see the importance of thrombo-prophylaxis in such high-risk patients.



Cancer, Thromboembolic events, Venous Thromboembolism, Chemotherapy.