Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Circulation. 2004 Aug 3;110(5):566-70. Epub 2004 Jul 19.

Risk factors and recurrence rate of primary deep vein thrombosis of the upper extremities.

Author information

Angelo Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, Department of Internal Medicine and Dermatology, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milano, Italy.



One third of cases of upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are primary, ie, they occur in the absence of central venous catheters or cancer. Risk factors for primary upper-extremity DVT are not well established, and the recurrence rate is unknown.


We studied 115 primary upper-extremity DVT patients and 797 healthy controls for the presence of thrombophilia due to factor V Leiden, prothrombin G20210A, antithrombin, protein C, protein S deficiency, and hyperhomocysteinemia. Transient risk factors for venous thromboembolism were recorded. Recurrent upper-extremity DVT was evaluated prospectively over a median of 5.1 years of follow-up. The adjusted odds ratio for upper-extremity DVT was 6.2 (95% CI 2.5 to 15.7) for factor V Leiden, 5.0 (95% CI 2.0 to 12.2) for prothrombin G20210A, and 4.9 (95% CI 1.1 to 22.0) for the anticoagulant protein deficiencies. Hyperhomocysteinemia and oral contraceptives were not associated with upper-extremity DVT. However, in women with factor V Leiden or prothrombin G20210A who were taking oral contraceptives, the odds ratio for upper-extremity DVT was increased up to 13.6 (95% CI 2.7 to 67.3). The recurrence rate was 4.4% patient-years in patients with thrombophilia and 1.6% patient-years in those without thrombophilia. The hazard ratio for recurrent upper-extremity DVT in patients with thrombophilia compared with those without was 2.7 (95% CI 0.7 to 9.8).


Inherited thrombophilia is associated with an increased risk of upper-extremity DVT. Oral contraceptives increase the risk only when combined with inherited thrombophilia. The recurrence rate of primary upper-extremity DVT is low but tends to be higher in patients with thrombophilia than in those without.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center