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Am Fam Physician. 1997 Feb 1;55(2):533-9.

Deep venous thrombosis of the upper extremity.

Author information

  • 1Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington, USA. stephens@snd10.med.navy.mil

Erratum in

  • Am Fam Physician 1997 Apr;55(5):1586.


Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) of the upper extremity is a relatively uncommon but important cause of morbidity, especially in young active persons. The causes of upper extremity DVT may be categorized as catheter-related, spontaneous (effort-related) and miscellaneous (e.g., trauma, intravenous drug use). Diagnosis is based on clinical history and confirmed by either duplex ultrasonography or contrast venography. Significant controversy surrounds the optimal management of upper extremity DVT. Treatment options include conservative therapy, anticoagulation, catheter-directed thrombolysis and surgical intervention to remove intravascular clot or revise the anatomy of the costoclavicular space. Early aggressive treatment of active young patients may decrease long-term morbidity.

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