What are the risk factors for superficial thrombophlebitis?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021
  • Author: Khanjan H Nagarsheth, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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The most important clinically identifiable risk factors for thrombophlebitis are a prior history of superficial phlebitis, DVT, and PE. Some common risk markers include recent surgery or pregnancy, prolonged immobilization, and underlying malignancy.

Phlebitis also occurs in diseases associated with vasculitis, such as polyarteritis nodosa (periarteritis nodosa) and Buerger disease (thromboangiitis obliterans). Buerger noted phlebitis in 8 of 19 patients, and Shionoya reported it in 43% of the 255 patients he followed. [2, 3] After 2010, a medically emergent cutaneous thombophlebitis began to be noted more frequently, after an increase in use of levamisole (an antihelminth) for bulking cocaine in the US. In a review of the literature by Pearson et al, cutaneous thrombosis was noted in 84% of patients presenting with levamisole-induced vasculopathy. [4, 5]

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