What is the prognosis of superficial thrombophlebitis?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021
  • Author: Khanjan H Nagarsheth, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Thrombosis and thrombophlebitis of the superficial venous system receive little attention in medical and surgical textbooks. However, thrombophlebitis is encountered frequently, and although it is usually a benign, self-limiting disease, it can be recurrent and tenaciously persistent, at times causing significant incapacitation. (See Epidemiology and Prognosis.)

When affecting the great saphenous vein (GSV; also referred to as the greater or long saphenous vein), thrombophlebitis will sometimes progress into the deep venous system. Damage to deep venous valves leads to chronic deep venous insufficiency (often referred to as postphlebitic syndrome), as well as to recurrent pulmonary embolism (PE) and an increased risk of death. [1]

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