Deep vein thrombosis causes

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Editor(s)-In-Chief: The APEX Trial Investigators, C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]; Ogheneochuko Ajari, MB.BS, MS [3]; Kashish Goel, M.D.; Assistant Editor(s)-In-Chief: Justine Cadet

Deep Vein Thrombosis Microchapters


Patient Information





Differentiating Deep vein thrombosis from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors



Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Diagnostic Approach

Assessment of Clinical Probability and Risk Scores

Assessment of Probability of Subsequent VTE and Risk Scores

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings





Other Imaging Findings


Treatment Approach

Medical Therapy

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Invasive Therapy



Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

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Special Scenario

Upper extremity DVT




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Case #1

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The cause of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot in the deep veins. Several factors predispose to DVT; however they are referred to as either risk factors or triggers. The word risk factors refers to those epidemiologic and genetic variables that expose someone to a higher risk of developing venous thrombosis. The word triggers refer to those factors in the patients immediate history or environment that may have led to the occurrence of the venous thrombosis. Risk factors and triggers of DVT are discussed elsewhere.


Life Threatening Causes

Deep venous thrombosis can be a life-threatening condition if thromboembolism and subsequent pulmonary embolism occur, and it must be treated as such irrespective of the underlying cause.

Common Causes

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Antithrombin III deficiency, blood clot, congestive heart failure, May-Thurner syndrome, multifocal fibrosclerosis, Paget-Schroetter disease, thrombosis
Chemical/Poisoning No underlying causes
Dental No underlying causes
Dermatologic No underlying causes
Drug Side Effect Erythropoietin, Estradiol valerate and estradiol valerate/dienogest, Ethinylestradiol, Etonogestrel, fibrinogen,heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, hormone replacement therapy, Interferon gamma, lenalidomide, Medroxyprogesterone, Methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta, Methyltestosterone, oral contraceptives, Ospemifene, Piperacillin, Polidocanol, Pramipexole, Progesterone, raloxifene, Romidepsin, tamoxifen, thalidomide, Trametinib, tranexamic acid
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine Functioning pancreatic endocrine tumor, glucagonoma syndrome, multifocal fibrosclerosis
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic Inflammatory bowel disease
Genetic Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, protein C deficiency, protein S deficiency, prothrombin gene mutation G20210A
Hematologic Antiphospholipid syndrome, antithrombin III deficiency, blood clot, clotting disorders, essential thrombocythemia, factor V Leiden mutation, familial dysfibrinogenemia, hemorrhagic thrombocythemia, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, myeloproliferative disorders, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, polycythemia vera, protein C deficiency, protein S deficiency
Iatrogenic Surgery (especially orthopedic or female pelvic surgery)
Infectious Disease Tuberculosis
Musculoskeletal/Orthopedic Fractures (especially of pelvis or leg), varicose veins
Neurologic Antiphospholipid syndrome, paraplegia, spinal cord injury, stroke
Nutritional/Metabolic Hyperhomocysteinemia
Obstetric/Gynecologic Antiphospholipid syndrome, hormone replacement therapy, oral contraceptives, pregnancy
Oncologic Cancer, functioning pancreatic endocrine tumor, glucagonoma syndrome, malignancy, polycythemia vera
Ophthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose/Toxicity No underlying causes
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary No underlying causes
Renal/Electrolyte Nephrotic syndrome
Rheumatology/Immunology/Allergy Antiphospholipid syndrome, multifocal fibrosclerosis, paraproteinemia, systemic lupus erythematosus
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma Injury, spinal cord injury, trauma
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous Immobility, presence of a central venous catheter

Causes in Alphabetical Order


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  2. Singh NK, Agrawal A, Singh MN, Kumar V, Godhra M, Gupta A; et al. (2013). "Prevalence and pattern of antiphospholipid antibody syndrome in a hospital based longitudinal study of 193 patients of systemic lupus erythematosus". J Assoc Physicians India. 61 (9): 623–6. PMID 24772699.
  3. Larsen AC, Dabrowski T, Frøkjær JB, Fisker RV, Iyer VV, Møller BK; et al. (2014). "Prevalence of venous thromboembolism at diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal cancer". Br J Surg. 101 (3): 246–53. doi:10.1002/bjs.9353. PMID 24446107.
  4. 4.0 4.1 de Campos Guerra JC, Mourão MA, França CN, da Rosa CD, Burattini MN (2014). "Impact of coagulation in the development of thromboembolic events in patients with spinal cord injury". Spinal Cord. 52 (4): 327–32. doi:10.1038/sc.2013.170. PMID 24513719.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Karmacharya P, Aryal MR, Donato A (2013). "Mesenteric vein thrombosis in a patient heterozygous for factor V Leiden and G20210A prothrombin genotypes". World J Gastroenterol. 19 (43): 7813–5. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i43.7813. PMC 3837283. PMID 24282370.
  6. Lovecchio F (2014). "Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia". Clin Toxicol (Phila). 52 (6): 579–83. doi:10.3109/15563650.2014.917181. PMID 24844576.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ren W, Li Z, Fu Z, Fu Q (2014). "Analysis of risk factors for recurrence of deep venous thrombosis in lower extremities". Med Sci Monit. 20: 199–204. doi:10.12659/MSM.889819. PMC 3930664. PMID 24500085.
  8. Wax JR, Pinette MG, Rausch D, Cartin A (2014). "May-Thurner syndrome complicating pregnancy: a report of four cases". J Reprod Med. 59 (5–6): 333–6. PMID 24937979.
  9. Klitfod L, Broholm R, Baekgaard N (2013). "Deep venous thrombosis of the upper extremity. A review". Int Angiol. 32 (5): 447–52. PMID 23903301.
  10. Schiffer CA, Mangu PB, Wade JC, Camp-Sorrell D, Cope DG, El-Rayes BF; et al. (2013). "Central venous catheter care for the patient with cancer: American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guideline". J Clin Oncol. 31 (10): 1357–70. doi:10.1200/JCO.2012.45.5733. PMID 23460705.
  11. Halim TA, Chhabra HS, Arora M, Kumar S (2014). "Pharmacological prophylaxis for deep vein thrombosis in acute spinal cord injury: an Indian perspective". Spinal Cord. 52 (7): 547–50. doi:10.1038/sc.2014.71. PMID 24819510.
  12. "[Venous thromboembolic complications in patients with intracranial hemorrhage and tumors of the central nervous system]". Khirurgiia (Mosk) (3): 49–52. 2014. PMID 24781071.
  13. Do JG, Kim du H, Sung DH (2013). "Incidence of deep vein thrombosis after spinal cord injury in Korean patients at acute rehabilitation unit". J Korean Med Sci. 28 (9): 1382–7. doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.9.1382. PMC 3763116. PMID 24015047.
  14. Amin AN, Lin J, Thompson S, Wiederkehr D (2013). "Rate of deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism during the care continuum in patients with acute ischemic stroke in the United States". BMC Neurol. 13: 17. doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-17. PMC 3571887. PMID 23391151.
  15. Lee YK, Choi YH, Ha YC, Lim JY, Koo KH (2013). "Does venous thromboembolism affect rehabilitation after hip fracture surgery?". Yonsei Med J. 54 (4): 1015–9. doi:10.3349/ymj.2013.54.4.1015. PMC 3663236. PMID 23709439.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Louis SG, Sato M, Geraci T, Anderson R, Cho SD, Van PY; et al. (2014). "Correlation of missed doses of enoxaparin with increased incidence of deep vein thrombosis in trauma and general surgery patients". JAMA Surg. 149 (4): 365–70. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.3963. PMID 24577627.
  17. Chung WS, Lin CL, Chang SN, Lu CC, Kao CH (2014). "Systemic lupus erythematosus increases the risks of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism: a nationwide cohort study". J Thromb Haemost. 12 (4): 452–8. doi:10.1111/jth.12518. PMID 24472157.
  18. Pronk SM, van Ommen CH, Prince FH, Weijer O, van Rossum MA (2014). "[Venous thrombosis as a first sign of SLE]". Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 158: A7179. PMID 24988153.
  19. "Tranexamic acid and thrombosis". Prescrire Int. 22 (140): 182–3. 2013. PMID 23951593.
  20. Kechaou I, Cherif E, Ben Hassine L, Khalfallah N (2014). "Deep vein thrombosis and tuberculosis: a causative link?". BMJ Case Rep. 2014. doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-200807. PMID 24859543.

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