Abstract Title:

Prevention of venous thrombosis and thrombophlebitis in long-haul flights with pycnogenol.

Abstract Source:

Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2004 Oct;10(4):373-7. PMID: 15497024

Abstract Author(s):

G Belcaro, M R Cesarone, P Rohdewald, A Ricci, E Ippolito, M Dugall, M Griffin, I Ruffini, G Acerbi, M G Vinciguerra, P Bavera, A Di Renzo, B M Errichi, F Cerritelli

Article Affiliation:

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Irvine2 Vascular Lab, G D'Annunzio University and San Valentino Vascular Screening Project (Pe), Faculty of Motory Sciences, L'Aquila University, Italy. [email protected]


The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) and its prophylaxis with an oral anti-edema and antithrombotic agent (Pycnogenol, Horphag, Research Management SA, Geneva, Switzerland) in long-haul flights, in subjects at moderate to high-risk of DVT and SVT. The study pre-included 244 pre-selected subjects; 211 were included (33 were excluded for several reasons due to logistic problems) and 198 completed the study; 13 subjects were lost for follow-up at the end of the flight, all for non-medical problems (i.e., for difficult connections). All subjects were scanned within 90 minutes before the flight and within 2 hours after disembarking. Subjects were supplemented with 100 mg Pycnogenol per capsule. Treatment subjects received two capsules between 2 and 3 hours before flights with 250 mL of water; two capsules were taken 6 hours later with 250 mL of water and one capsule the next day. The control group received comparable placebo at the same intervals. The flight duration was on average 8 hours and 15 minutes (SD 55 min) (range, 7.45-12.33). In the control group there were five thrombotic events (one DVT and four superficial thromboses) while only nonthrombotic, localized phlebitis was observed in the Pycnogenol group (5.15% vs. no events; p<0.025). The ITT (intention to treat) analysis detects 13 failures in the control group (eight lost to follow up + five thrombotic events) of 105 subjects (12.4%) vs. five failures (4.7%; all lost, no thrombotic events) in the treatment group (p<0.025). No unwanted effects were observed. In conclusion, this study indicates that Pycnogenol treatment was effective in decreasing the number of thrombotic events (DVT and SVT) in moderate-to-high risk subjects, during long-haul flights.

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