Background:Patients with cancer are at high risk of both venous thromboembolism (VTE) and arterial events, however, little is known about the association between venous and arterial thromboembolic events in patients with cancer. In this study, we evaluated the incidence and relative risk of subsequent arterial thromboembolism in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of acute cancer-associated VTE.

Methods:We conducted a retrospective cohort study at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute of cancer patients with confirmed VTE who were referred to a centralized thrombosis clinic between January 2017-October 2019 with at least 6 months of follow-up. Arterial thrombotic events (ATE), including myocardial infarction, peripheral arterial thrombosis, and ischemic stroke, were identified by manual review of electronic medical records. The cumulative incidence rate of each ATE event was calculated.

Results:The study population comprised 294 patients with a median age of (63.5) years (range 27-90), and 49.7 % were male. The cumulative incidence rate of overall ATE during the 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year follow-up period was 3.07%, 3.42%, and 3.42%, respectively. A total of 10 patients who experienced arterial events of whom 7 had ischemic stroke, 2 had myocardial infarction, 2 had peripheral arterial thrombosis where one patient had two arterial events of myocardial infarction and peripheral arterial thrombosis(Table 1 shows the incidence rates of arterial events). Amongst patients with ATE, 30 % were active smokers (n=3), 90% had hypertension (n=9), 20% had diabetes mellitus (n=2), 50% had a family history of coronary artery disease (n=5), 40% were on statin and daily aspirin use (n=4), 40% were obese with BMI >30 (n=4). 40% of ATE patients(n=4) were on a therapeutic anticoagulant therapy at the time of arterial thrombotic event (3 on enoxaparin, 1 on apixaban)

Conclusion:Cancer patients with acute VTE have a substantial increased risk of subsequent arterial thromboembolism particularly in the first six months after VTE. Ischemic stroke was the most frequent arterial event and ATE events occured despite therapeutic anticoagulation in a large subset of our cohort. Further prospective studies are needed to better understand the risk of ATE in cancer patients, and further studies should be designed to mitigate the risk of arterial events in this patient population.


McCrae:Momenta Pharmaceuticals:Consultancy;Novartis:Honoraria;Rigel:Consultancy;Dova:Consultancy.Khorana:Pharmacyclics:Honoraria;Pharmacyte:Honoraria;Seattle Genetics:Honoraria;Leo Pharma:Honoraria;Medscape:Honoraria;Sanofi:Honoraria;Pfizer:Honoraria;Bayer:Honoraria;Janssen:Honoraria;Array:Other: Research funding (to institution);Merck:Research Funding;BMS:Honoraria, Research Funding;Leap:Research Funding.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.