Superficial Vein Thrombosis Linked to DVT

Small study suggests that one-quarter of patients may have a deep vein thrombosis

MONDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with superficial vein thrombosis in the lower extremities should be evaluated for the presence of deep vein thrombosis, according to a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Barbara Binder, M.D., of the Medical University of Graz in Austria, and colleagues studied 46 patients with sonographically proven superficial vein thrombosis.

The researchers identified a usually asymptomatic deep vein thrombosis in 24 percent of the patients. In these patients, 73 percent of the newly identified deep vein thromboses were in the affected leg, 9 percent were in the unaffected leg, and 18 percent were in both legs. They also found that all patients with deep vein thrombosis had a superficial vein thrombosis on the lower leg.

"The results of this study indicate that concurrent deep vein thrombosis is more likely when superficial vein thrombosis affects the lower leg," the authors conclude. "In these cases, the deep veins should be assessed by color-coded duplex sonography (from the inguinal region to the ankle) to exclude or confirm acute deep vein thrombosis. We recommend also evaluation of the contralateral leg in cases of SVT with a substantially elevated D-dimer level and any symptoms of deep vein thrombosis to insure the best medical care and thus hopefully prevent pulmonary embolism or post-thrombotic syndrome."

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