ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
The prevalence of upper extremity deep venous thrombosis
Fatma Sema Oymak1, Yiğit Akçalı2, Hakan Büyükoğlan1, Metin Özkan3, Ökkeş İbrahim Karahan4, Asiye Kanbay1, İnci Gülmez1, Ramazan Demir1
1Departments of Chest Diseases, Medical Faculty of Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey
2Departments of Cardiovascular Surgery, Medical Faculty of Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey
3Internal Diseases, Medical Oncology, Medical Faculty of Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey
4Departments of Radiology, Medical Faculty of Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2012.059
Background: This study aims to determine the prevalence and characteristics of symptomatic upper extremity deep venous thrombosis (UEDVT) and its association with symptomatic pulmonary embolism (PE) in a tertiary care hospital.

Methods: Between January 2001 and December 2003, the prevalence of symptomatic UEDVT at a university hospital within the past three-years was evaluated retrospectively. Patients were identified by hospital records, and a computerrecorded list of all color Doppler ultrasonograms, venograms, and magnetic resonance angiograms of upper extremities was also used. Data were obtained from medical records and follow-up patient questionnaires.

Results: Symptomatic UEDVT was diagnosed in 91 of 100.942 patients of all ages (0.09%) [or 89 of 70.751 of adult patients ≥20 years of age; 0.13%]. Seventy three (80%) of 91 patients with UEDVT had multiple risk factors; 33 patients (36%) had malignancy, 34 patients (37%) had central venous catheters (CVCs), peripheral venous lines (PVLs) and cardiac pacemaker (n=1), 36 patients (40%) had chronic disorders (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiac disease, chronic renal failure with hemodialysis), 12 patients (13%) had trauma or surgery, 13 of 53 patients (24%) had UEDVT secondary to thrombophilia. Symptomatic PE developed prior to thrombosis being treated in 32 patients (35%). All patients received anticoagulant therapy except 13 patients (5 with thrombolytic therapy; 8 with thrombectomy) who were treated with other methods initially.

Conclusion: Upper extremity deep venous thrombosis is not a rarely seen pathology. Its etiology is usually multifactorial and secondary to thrombophilia, CVC, PVL, chronic diseases and cancer. As PE resulting from UEDVT is a common complication, patients with risk factors should be diagnosed and treated early.

Keywords : Axillary vein; brachial vein; deep venous thrombosis; pulmonary thromboembolism subclavian vein; upper extremity deep venous thrombosis
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