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Superficial thrombophlebitis

  • Definition

    Superficial thrombophlebitis is inflammation of a vein due to a blood clot in a vein located just below the skin's surface.


    Alternative Names

    Thrombophlebitis - superficial


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Superficial thrombophlebitis may occur after injury to the vein or the recent use of an intravenous (IV) line or catheter. It may also develop for no apparent reason in persons at risk for the condition.

    Risks for superficial thrombophlebitis include:

    • Chemical irritation of the area
    • Disorders that involve increased blood clotting
    • Infection
    • Pregnancy
    • Sitting or staying still for a prolonged period
    • Use of birth control pills
    • Varicose veins

    Superficial thrombophlebitis may be associated with:

    • Abdominal cancers (such as pancreatic cancer)
    • Deep vein thrombosis
    • Factor V Leiden
    • Prothrombin gene mutation
    • Thromboangiitis obliterans

    Other rare disorders associated this condition include Antithrombin III (AT-III), Protein C and Protein S deficiencies.