Internal Jugular Vein Thrombosis

Also Known As:

What is Internal Jugular Vein Thrombosis?

Thrombosis is a general term describing the condition that occurs when a blood clot develops within a blood vessel, causing the blood flow to be restricted or completely stopped. This blockage causes pressure to build up, and can result in very serious life threatening issues.

Internal Jugular Vein Thrombosis is a rare type of Venous Thrombosis, that occurs when a blood clot forms in the internal jugular vein. The jugular veins take deoxygenated blood from the head back to the heart via the superior vena cava.

Internal Jugular Vein Thrombosis can have serious potentially life-threatening complications, including Septicemia, Chylothorax, Papilledema, Upper Airway Oedema, and Pulmonary Embolism.


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 Internal Jugular Vein Thrombosis include:
•   Head and neck infections
•   Head, neck, and cardiac surgical procedures
•   Central vein catheter
•   Cancers and tumours
•   Polycythemia
•   Hyperhomocysteinemia
•   Repetitive neck massages
•   Neck trauma
•   Intravenous (IV) drug abuse


The symptoms of Internal Jugular Vein Thrombosis may include:
•   Pain and swelling in the neck
•   Pain and swelling in the back
•   Fever
•   Leukocytosis
•   Cervical pain
•   Septicemia
•   Superior vena cava syndrome
•   Chylothorax
•   Jugular foramen syndrome

Diagnosis & Treatment

The diagnosis of Internal Jugular Vein Thrombosis is often highly challenging. The Doctor will carry out a physical examination, blood tests and scans and may order the following tests:
•   CT Scan
•   MRI Scan
•   Ultrasound Scan
•   Venogram
•   Blood Culture Test

Treatment of the underlying cause or malignancy is the most definitive therapy. The exact treatment will depend on any complications and the underlying cause. It is viewed as a type of Deep Vein Thrombosis and treatment may include:
•   Anticoagulant Medications
•   Inferior Vena Cava Filter
•   Endovascular treatment
•   Surgery
•   Thrombolytic Medications

Additional Information

Also see: Thrombosis, Jugular Vein Thrombosis, External Jugular Vein Thrombosis

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Published Date:

19th December 2018


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