Deep vein thrombosis risk factors

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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] Kashish Goel, M.D.; Assistant Editor(s)-In-Chief: Justine Cadet; Rim Halaby, M.D. [3]

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

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Upper extremity DVT




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Venous thromboembolism (VTE) consists of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), or both. In these chapters on VTE, 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. The risk factors for VTE are a constellation of predisposing conditions which stem from the three principles of Virchow's triad: stasis of the blood flow, damage to the vascular endothelial cells, and hypercoagulability. The risk factors for VTE can be classified as temporary, modifiable and non-modifiable. It is suggested that venous thrombosis also shares risk factors with arterial thrombosis, such as obesity, hypertension, smoking, and diabetes mellitus.[1]

Risk Factors

Shown below is a list of predisposing factors to VTE.[2][3] The risk factors are classified as moderate or weak depending on how strongly they predispose for a VTE.

Moderate risk factors Weak risk factors

Chronic heart failure
Respiratory failure
Hormone replacement therapy
Oral contraceptive pills
❑ Prior history of VTE

❑ Advanced age

Laparoscopic surgery
❑ Prepartum
Varicose veins

The risk factors of VTE can be further classified into modifiable, non-modifiable and temporary.

Modifiable Risk Factors

Modifiable risk factors are reversible based upon lifestyle/behavior modification.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

Temporary Risk Factors

Other Possible Risk Factors

Other possible factors associated with VTE include:

Courtesy CDC


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