Last Updated on Jul 06, 2018

Causes of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Virchow, in 1856, proposed the triad of ‘venous stasis, endothelial injury, and hypercoagulable state’. This is still the accepted theory for the development of DVT.

Generally if the blood is stagnant it has a tendency to clot. There exists a balance between clot formation and resolution. Significant clotting occurs when this balance is not maintained. The causes can be described under three headings:

1) Venous stasis: Immobility

  • Extended travel and sitting. For example long airplane flights, car, or train travel can cause this. Long airplane flights cause the so called "economy class syndrome."
  • Prolonged hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Injury to the lower leg with or without surgery or casting
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity

2) Hypercoagulable state: i.e. blood coagulates faster than usual

  • Certain drugs like birth control pills, estrogen.
  • Smoking
  • Some individuals are genetically predisposed
  • An increased number of red blood cells as in polycythemia
  • Cancer

3) Endothelial injury: injury to the inner lining of the vein

  • Fracture
  • Due to invasive procedures of the vein


  1. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 18th ed.
  2. Bailey & Love Short Practice of Surgery, 25th ed.


Nurgul Sunday, October 14, 2012

Does anybody know where is the best place for my mom to have a surgery of deep vein thrombosis? Doctor said she must have an operation but he said in our country is not the best place to do it... He has advised Israel, Russia... what do you think?

josgreg Saturday, March 19, 2011

The article provided a nice graphical view on the disease which was of the more specific on the topic. Diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis To diagnose this condition, you may have to undergo the following tests in an infirmary: >A blood test which is named as D-Dimer is usually done to measure a substance which is responsible for blood clots to break down. If you have negative reading in this test, it tells that you have deep vein thrombosis.

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