Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for thromboprophylaxis: A systematic review.


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation on lower limb venous blood flow and its role in thromboprophylaxis. METHOD Systematic review of randomised and non-randomised studies evaluating neuromuscular electrical stimulation, and reporting one or more of the following outcomes: incidence of venous thromboembolism, venous blood flow and discomfort profile. RESULTS Twenty-one articles were identified. Review of these articles showed that neuromuscular electrical stimulation increases venous blood flow and is generally associated with an acceptable tolerability, potentially leading to good patient compliance. Ten comparative studies reported DVT incidence, ranging from 2% to 50% with neuromuscular electrical stimulation and 6% to 47.1% in controls. There were significant differences, among included studies, in terms of patient population, neuromuscular electrical stimulation delivery, diagnosis of venous thromboembolism and blood flow measurements. CONCLUSION Neuromuscular electrical stimulation increases venous blood flow and is well tolerated, but current evidence does not support a role for neuromuscular electrical stimulation in thromboprophylaxis. Randomised controlled trials are required to investigate the clinical utility of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in this setting.

DOI: 10.1177/0268355514567731

Cite this paper

@article{Hajibandeh2015NeuromuscularES, title={Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for thromboprophylaxis: A systematic review.}, author={Shahab Hajibandeh and George Antoniou and James R H Scurr and Francesco Torella}, journal={Phlebology}, year={2015}, volume={30 9}, pages={589-602} }