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Allergy medicine may help treat DVT

Common anti-allergy medicines could prove to be an effective treatment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) without the risk of bleeding, according to new research.

Common anti-allergy medicines could prove to be an effective treatment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) without the risk of bleeding, according to new research

dvt
Research findings offer new hope for treatment of DVT. Picture: iStock

Common anti-allergy medicines could prove to be an effective treatment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), according to new research.

The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation, discovered that mice genetically depleted of mast cells, a type of immune cells, are protected from developing DVT. 

Current treatments for DVT include anti-clotting drugs such as heparin and warfarin. These drugs are relatively effective but they put patients at increased risk of bleeding as they affect haemostasis, the body's natural response to blood vessel injury and bleeding. 

Risk removed

In the study, researchers ‘turned off’ the gene that is responsible for producing mast cells. The research found that the mice that were deficient in mast cells were protected from DVT. They also found that mast cell-deficient mice had normal haemostasis, tackling the bleeding side effects possible with treatments such as warfarin.

Now researchers are hoping to validate their findings in humans, by testing samples of blood from people with and without DVT, to see if those with DVT have activated mast cells. If results are positive, mast cell inhibitors, which are already approved for treatment of some allergic diseases such as asthma, could move into human clinical trials.

One of the authors, Alex Brill of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham, said: 'These findings offer new hope for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis without a risk of bleeding.'


Ponomaryov T et al (2017) Mast Cells Granular Contents Are Crucial for Deep Vein Thrombosis in Mice. Circulation Research. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.311185

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