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Deep Vein Thrombosis

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is serious disorder occur as a result of clots formation within the deep veins. DVT most commonly occurs in the lower extremities (legs). Deep vein thrombosis is complicated by pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be life threatening if left untreated.

Symptoms deep vein thrombosis

Often patients with DVT are asymptomatic, but if they have symptoms they may include:

  • leg pain
  • swelling
  • cyanosis
  • venous distention

Causes of deep vein thrombosis

DVT occurs as a result of a thrombus build up in the veins, and the development of a thrombus is related to one or more components of the Virchow triad, which include:

  1. Endothelial injury
  2. Stasis or turbulent (abnormal blood flow)
  3. Hypercoagulability of the blood

Risk factors of deep vein thrombosis

There are many factors that can increase the possibility of developing deep vein thrombosis, including:

  • Surgery (e.g. Joint replacement)
  • Malignant neoplasm (cancer)
  • Neurologic disease with extremity paresis
  • Age (elderly is at higher risk)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Prolonged immobilization result in venous stasis
  • Pregnancy
  • Oral contraceptive use
  • Obesity
  • Inherited defects in coagulation factors

Treatment of deep vein thrombosis

The anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners) heparin and warfarin are used to prevent thromboembolic disorders, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), by preventing the formation of new clots, but they do not dissolve the already existing clots.

References

1. Vinay Kumar, Abul K. Abbas, Jon C. Aster/ Robbins Basic Pathology/ 9th edition/philadephia, United states/ Elsevier-Health sciences Divition/ 2012

2. Carol Mattson Porth, Glenn Matifn/ Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States/ 8th edition/ Philadelphia, United States/ Lippincott Williams and Wilkins/ 2009

3. Maxine Papadakis, Stephen McPhee, Michael Rabow/ Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2019/ 58th edition/ OH, United States/ McGraw-Hill Education/ 2019

4. Marshall Lichtman, Josef Prchal, Kenneth Kaushansky, Marcel Levi, Linda Burns, James Armitage/ Williams Hematology/ 9th edition/ OH, United States/ McGraw-Hill Education/ 2016

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