Venous gangrene a rare but dreadful complication of deep venous thrombosis

Muzammil H Musani, Muhammad Anis Musani, Mary A Verardi
Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/hemostasis 2011, 17 (6): E1-3
Venous gangrene is a rare complication of deep venous thrombosis. It is certain from review of literature that there is a significant causative relationship between malignant disease and venous gangrene. Data from the National hospital discharge survey from 1979 to 2006 showed that 0.43% of patients with deep venous thrombosis had gangrene, while 1.39% patients with gangrene had deep venous thrombosis. Toes and fingers are frequent site of venous gangrene in patients with massive deep venous thrombosis, as evident by review of literature. A possible explanation for this occurrence can be the fact that because of the scarcity of subcutaneous fat and the small spaces of fingers and toes, massive edema can generate large compressive forces; these forces may have a compressive effect on the arterioles, which may contribute to the development of venous gangrene. Lower extremities develop venous gangrene more commonly than upper extremities. The condition has an extremely high rate of mortality either from pulmonary embolism or from the serious underlying disease, such as neoplasms.

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