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Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2011;7:569-75. doi: 10.2147/VHRM.S15562. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Superficial venous thrombosis: disease progression and evolving treatment approaches.

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Heart and Vascular Center, Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Treatment of superficial venous thrombosis (SVT) has recently shifted as increasing evidence suggests a higher than initially recognized rate of recurrence as well as concomitant deep venous thrombosis. Traditional therapies aimed at symptom control and disruption of the saphenofemoral junction are being called into question. The incidence of deep venous thrombosis has been reported to be 6%-40%, with symptomatic pulmonary embolism occurring in 2%-13% of patients. Asymptomatic pulmonary embolism is said to occur in up to one third of patients with SVT based on lung scans. The role of anticoagulation, including newer agents, is being elucidated, and surgical disruption of the saphenofemoral junction, while still an option for specific cases, is less frequently used as first-line treatment. The individual risk factors, including history of prior episodes of SVT, the presence of varicosities, and provoking factors including malignancy and hypercoagulable disorders, must all be considered to individualize the treatment plan. Given the potential morbidity of untreated SVT, prompt recognition and understanding of the pathophysiology and sequelae are paramount for clinicians treating patients with this disease. A personalized treatment plan must be devised for individual patients because the natural history varies by risk factor, presence or absence of DVT, and extent of involvement.


progression; superficial venous thrombosis; treatment

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