Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)

Definitions

  • Superficial thrombophlebitis: pain, tenderness, erythema along superficial vein
  • Deep venous thrombosis (DVT): Proximal = thrombosis of iliac, femoral, or popliteal veins (nb, “superficial” femoral vein part of deep venous system). Distal = calf veins below knee; lower risk of PE/death than proximal (Thromb Haem 2009;102:493).
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE): thrombosis originating in venous system and embolizing to pulmonary arterial circulation; 1 case/1000 person y; 250,000/y (Archives 2003;163:1711)

Risk factors

  • Virchow’s triad for thrombogenesis
    • stasis: bed rest, inactivity, CHF, CVA w/in 3 mo, air travel >6 h (NEJM 2001:779)