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Superficial Thrombophlebitis

Emily M. Culliney, MD, FAAFP Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Superficial thrombophlebitis is venous inflammation with secondary thrombosis of a superficial vein.

  • Most common in the lower extremities (60–80%), but can occur in the upper extremit...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Pain along the course of a vein 

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Swelling, tenderness, redness along the course of a vein or veins

  • May have a palpable cord along the course of the vein

  • May look like locali...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Suppurative: consultation for urgent surgical venous excision

  • Local, mild (2)[C]

    • Conservative management, antibiotics not useful

    • For varicosities

      • Compression stockings; maintain ...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • Septic: routine WBC count and differential. Target treatment based on culture results.

  • Severe aseptic

    • Repeat venous Doppler US in 1 to 2 weeks to ...

REFERENCES

1
Di Nisio M, Wichers IM, Middeldorp S. Treatment for superficial thrombophlebitis of the leg. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.  2013;(4):CD004982. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Nasr H, Scr...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Decousus H, Leizorovicz A. Superficial thrombophlebitis of the legs: still a lot to learn. J Thromb Haemost.  2005;3(6):1149–1151. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]

  • Decousus H, Qué...

CODES

ICD10

  • I80.9 Phlebitis and thrombophlebitis of unspecified site

  • I80.00 Phlbts and thombophlb of superfic vessels of unsp low extrm

  • I80.8 Phlebitis and thrombophlebitis of other sites

  • D68.59 Other pri...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Mild superficial thrombophlebitis is typically self-limiting and responds well to conservative care.

  • Lower extremity disease involving large veins or proximal saphenous vein may benefit...

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