Thrombotic complications of varicose veins. A literature review of the role of superficial venous thrombosis

J J Guex
Dermatologic Surgery: Official Publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et Al.] 1996, 22 (4): 378-82

BACKGROUND: Some recent publications have emphasized the risk (up to 25%) of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) coexisting with a clinical evidence of superficial venous thrombosis (SVT). However, most papers on this topic are old and do not consider the use of the duplex scanning.

OBJECTIVE: To determine what the spontaneous risk is of venous thrombosis and emboli in varicose patients, in the superficial veins, and in the deep veins; what the risk is of extension or coexistence between superficial and deep thrombosis; and whether the treatments of varicose disease are responsible for thrombosis?

METHODS: Review of the literature.

RESULTS: The frequency of venous thrombosis appears to be increased in patients with varicose disease.

CONCLUSIONS: In all cases of clinical SVT a duplex scan examination of both deep and superficial veins is necessary in order to provide a complete diagnosis. The treatment of SVTs depends on the situation and the size of the thrombi. In case of associated DVT, the most important treatment is of the DVT. The interest of heparin or low molecular weight heparin (therapeutic doses) is proved for patients with coexisting DVT, and thought so for ascending SVT. Interest and doses have not been stated in other cases. SVT must be considered as a risk factor of DVT and treated from this point of view. Biological analysis and a complete check-up are mandatory in cases of varicose thrombosis in young patients and in cases of recurrence.

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