What is the role of a mechanical injury in the etiology of deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Mechanical injury to the vein wall appears to provide an added stimulus for venous thrombosis. Hip arthroplasty patients with the associated femoral vein manipulation represent a high-risk group that cannot be explained by just immobilization, with 57% of thrombi originating in the affected femoral vein rather than the usual site of stasis in the calf. [67] Endothelial injury can convert the normally antithrombogenic endothelium to become prothrombotic by stimulating the production of tissue factor, von Willebrand factor, and fibronectin.

Injury may be obvious, such as those due to trauma, surgical intervention, or iatrogenic injury, but they may also be obscure, such as those due to remote deep venous thrombosis (perhaps asymptomatic) or minor (forgotten) trauma. Previous DVT is a major risk factor for further DVT. The increased incidence of DVT in the setting of acute urinary tract or respiratory infection may be due to an inflammation-induced alteration in endothelial function.

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