How is superficial thrombophlebitis characterized and does it suggest deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Superficial thrombophlebitis is characterized by the finding of a palpable, indurated, cordlike, tender, subcutaneous venous segment. Forty percent of patients with superficial thrombophlebitis without coexisting varicose veins and with no other obvious etiology (eg, intravenous catheters, intravenous drug abuse, soft tissue injury) have an associated DVT. Patients with superficial thrombophlebitis extending to the saphenofemoral junction are also at higher risk for associated DVT.


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