Superficial vein thrombosis


Superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) is a type blood clot in a vein, which forms in a superficial vein near the surface of the body. Usually there is thrombophlebitis, which is an inflammatory reaction around a thrombosed vein, presenting as a painful induration with redness. SVT itself has limited significance (in terms of direct morbidity and mortality) when compared to a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs deeper in the body at the deep venous system level. However, SVT can lead to serious complications (as well as signal other serious problems, such as genetic mutations that increase one's risk for clotting), and is therefore no longer regarded as a benign condition. If the blood clot is too near the saphenofemoral junction there is a higher risk of pulmonary embolism, a potentially life-threatening complication.

SVT has risk factors similar to those for other thrombotic conditions and can arise from a variety of causes. Diagnosis is often based on symptoms. There are multiple possible treatments, with the goal of providing symptomatic relief and preventing complications.

The mechanism for the development of an SVT depends upon the specific etiology of the SVT. For example, varicose veins and prolonged bed rest both may induce SVTs due to slowing the flow of blood through superficial veins.

SVTs may be diagnosed based upon clinical criteria by a healthcare professional.A more specific evaluation can be made by ultrasound.An ultrasound can be useful in situations in which an SVT occurs above the knee and is not associated with a varicose vein, because ultrasounds can detect more serious clots like DVTs.[2] The diagnostic utility of D-dimer testing in the setting of SVTs has yet to be fully established.

SVTs can be classified as either varicose vein (VV) or non-varicose (NV) associated.NV-SVTs are more likely to be associated with genetic procoagulable states compared to VV-SVTs.[1] SVTs can also be classified by pathophysiology. That is, primary SVTs are characterized by inflammation that is localized to the veins. Secondary SVTs are characterized by systemic inflammatory processes.

A subclass of SVTs are septic thrombophlebitis, which are SVTs that occur in the setting of an infection.

Media Contact:
John Mathews
Journal Manager
Journal of Phlebology and Lymphology