Deep Vein Thrombosis

Also Known As:

DVT, Deep Venous Thrombosis, Lower Extremity DVT, LEDVT

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Thrombosis is a general term describing the condition which occurs when a blood clot develops within a blood vessel, causing the blood flow to be restricted or completely stopped.

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a type of Venous Thrombosis, that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein deep inside the body. Deep vein blood clots typically form in the legs, but can also develop in other areas of the body.

Deep Vein Thrombosis can develop into a very serious condition called a Pulmonary Embolism. This occurs when blood clots in the veins break loose, travel through the bloodstream and block the flow of blood to the lungs.


Virchow’s Triad (or the Triad of Virchow), describes the three broad categories that are thought to contribute to Thrombosis:
•   Hypercoagulability: Abnormalities in blood coagulation, fibrinolytic pathways and in platelet function
•   Vascular Wall Injury/Dysfunction: Injuries and/or trauma to the interior lining of blood vessels
•   Circulatory Stasis: The slowing or stopping of blood flow

Factors that can increase the risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis include:
•   Blood-clotting disorders
•   Prolonged bed rest, such as during a long hospital stay, or paralysis
•   Injury or surgery
•   Infections
•   Pregnancy
•   May-Thurner Syndrome
•   Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
•   Being overweight or obese
•   Smoking
•   Cancer and cancer treatment
•   Heart failure
•   Inflammatory Bowel Disease
•   A personal or family history of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
•   Old age
•   Sitting for long periods of time, such as when driving or flying.


According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis only occur in about half of the people who have it. People may not find out that they have the condition until they’ve gone through emergency treatment for a Pulmonary Embolism.

The most common symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis include:
•   Swelling in the affected leg. Rarely, there’s swelling in both legs.
•   Pain in the affected leg. The pain often starts in the calf and can feel like cramping or soreness.
•   Red or discoloured skin on the leg
•   A feeling of warmth in the affected leg
•   Bruised skin on the leg

If a person notices any symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention, because severe life-threatening complications can occur.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Deep Vein Thrombosis is diagnosed by a Doctor using a physical examination, blood tests and scans. The Doctor may also order the following tests:
•   Ultrasound Scan
•   D-Dimer blood test
•   MRI Scan
•   Venogram
•   X-Ray

The severity of the Deep Vein Thrombosis will determine the exact treatment used. The main treatments include:
•   Anticoagulant Medications
•   Antiplatelet Medications
•   Compression stockings
•   Inferior Vena Cava Filter
•   Endovascular treatment
•   Surgery
•   Thrombolytic Medications
•   Physical activity such as walking

Additional Information

Also see: Thrombosis, Superficial Vein Thrombosis

Medical Disclaimer

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Published Date:

12th December 2018


Mediv8 Admin