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A blood clot (a clump of blood) that forms in a vein and causes
inflammation is called thrombophlebitis. Symptoms include pain, tenderness,
warmth, and redness along the length of a vein.
A clot may form either in a vein just under the surface of the skin
(superficial thrombophlebitis) or in a vein deep in the leg (deep vein
thrombosis, or DVT). Clots in a vein just under the skin rarely cause serious
problems because they do not travel through the bloodstream. Once this kind of
blood clot has been diagnosed by a health professional, the person can often
care for the symptoms safely at home.
Thrombophlebitis can occur in any vein, but it is most common in
the leg veins. Clots in a deep leg vein (deep vein thrombosis) are serious
because a clot can break loose and travel through the bloodstream to the lung
(pulmonary embolism). Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include swelling, pain,
and possibly redness in one leg or a noticeable new difference in the size of
one leg. Another symptom of deep vein thrombosis is pain when walking or when
the foot is flexed upward.
December 28, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology
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