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Pathophysiol Haemost Thromb. 2002 Sep-Dec;32(5-6):343-5.

Unusual forms of venous thrombosis and thrombophilia.

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Angelo Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, IRCCS Maggiore Hospital, University of Milan, Italy.


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) results from multiple interactions between inherited and environmental risk factors. The lower limbs are the most common site of VTE, but more rarely other venous sites can be involved. The role of risk factors for VTE can be different in the various thrombotic manifestations, and there are specific risk factors for specific sites. Coagulation abnormalities causing inherited thrombophilia are frequently found in patients with cerebral vein thrombosis, but are more rare in those with "isolated" pulmonary embolism, upper limb or retinal vein thrombosis. Transient situations, such as surgery, trauma, prolonged immobilization, the use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, and pregnancy or puerperium, are often recognized in patients with lower limb deep vein thrombosis, "isolated" pulmonary embolism, abdominal and cerebral vein thrombosis, but not in patients with upper limb deep vein thrombosis. Major risk factors for deep vein thrombosis of the upper limbs are strong efforts with the arms, whereas for abdominal vein thrombosis are myeloproliferative disorders and liver cirrhosis. In conclusion, there is increasing evidence that inherited and environmental risk factors may interact differently in determining VTE in different sites.

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