As per a new study, patients with superficial vein thrombosis are at an increased risk of developing life-threatening DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Superficial vein thrombosis is the clotting in blood vessels close to the skin.
Superficial vein thrombosis is a common disease that most often affects the veins of the leg but can also be found in other locations.
There are different risk factors, many of which are the same as risk factors for deep vein thrombosis such as varicose veins, thrombophilia (a disorder in which the blood clots too easily), use of oral contraceptives, trauma, malignancy or a period of immobility.
During the study, Dr Barbara Binder, of the Medical University of Graz, Austria, and colleagues studied 46 consecutive patients (32 women and 14 men) with superficial vein thrombosis between November 2006 and June 2007.
All patients underwent color-coded duplex sonography, an imaging test, to confirm superficial vein thrombosis and exclude or detect deep vein thrombosis.
The researchers revealed that deep vein thrombosis was detected in 24 percent of patients with superficial vein thrombosis and was usually asymptomatic.
Deep vein thrombosis occurred in the same leg as superficial vein thrombosis in 73 percent of the patients, in the other leg in 9 percent and in both legs in 18 percent.
"The calf muscle veins were most commonly involved," the authors write.
"In all patients with deep vein thrombosis, the superficial vein thrombosis was located on the lower leg and the D-dimer findings were positive.
"The results of this study indicate that concurrent deep vein thrombosis is more likely when superficial vein thrombosis affects the lower leg," they added.