World Thrombosis Day

Open Your Eyes to Superficial Vein Thrombosis

A superficial vein is a vein which is close to the surface of the body. They are normally responsible for helping to cool the body. It may be possible to see these veins bulging out under certain conditions. Patients may feel a slightly harder area or witness some reddening of the area. These thromboses are not normally as serious as deep vein thrombosis; however they can become more serious if they are able to enter deep veins through the perforator veins.

Lower extremity SVT – Superficial venous thrombosis - is the inflammation of the superficial veins associated with venous thrombosis. Distinctive clinical findings: Pain and a reddened, warm, tender cord extending along the vein. The surrounding area may show signs of erythema and oedema. (Ref: Di Nisio M, et al. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018;2:13.)

Estimated incidence: 1 per 1000 cases that may exceed that of DVT (ref: Nasr H, et al. Superficial thrombophlebitis (superficial venous thrombosis). BMJ 2015;350:h2039)

In people with a diagnosis of SVT:

6 % to 44 % have an associated (or develop ) DVT,

20 % to 33 % have asymptomatic pulmonary embolism (PE ). (Ref: Di Nisio M, et al. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018;2:13.)

In patients with acute isolated SVT – that is, without concomitant deep vein thrombosis or symptomatic pulmonary embolism at presentation, SVT in the legs hold a substantial risk for symptomatic thromboembolic complications. In a large prospective, observational study, the 3-month risk of such complications was 8.3% with a 3.3% risk of deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. (Ref: Decousus et al Superficial vein thrombosis and venous thromboembolism: a large, prospective epidemiological study. Ann Intern Med 2010;152:218-24.)”