Healthy Thursday: Upper Extremity DVT


Just found out I’ve got Upper Extremity DVT and not a candidate for any form of treatment.  Wish me luck!

Here’s some history and explanation:

A blood clot in the deep veins of the arms, shoulders or neck is known as an upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (Upper extremity DVT or upper limb dvt). The neck veins were also mentioned, as some consider a thrombosis in the internal jugular vein to be an upper extremity deep vein thrombus, as the internal jugular vein is continuous with the subclavian and then the axillary veins.

Treatment of upper extremity deep vein thrombosis

The mainstay of treatment of any venous thromboembolism. is anticoagulation. In the case of upper extremity DVT the literature is not robust. Therefore the ACCP 9 guidelines state that axillary or more proximal DVT should be treated with anticoagulation. There are no recommendations regarding more distal upper extremity deep vein thrombosis. Other possible treatments for upper extremity deep vein thrombosis include the following:

  • Catheter removal is not mandatory. However, if the catheter was implicated that could be an adjunct to treatment.
  • Thrombolysis (almost exclusively in the form of catheter directed thrombolysis).
  • In the case of Paget-Schroetter surgical correction of anatomical anomalies must be added.
  • Palliative measures include arm elevation and elastic compression. Although this has not been shown to be effective, it has little potential for harm and is therefore recommended.

What are the symptoms of DVT?

DVT most commonly occurs in just one leg or one arm. Not everyone with DVT will experience symptoms, although when present, they may include:

  • Swelling of the leg or arm (sometimes it occurs suddenly)
  • Pain or tenderness in the leg that may only be present when standing or walking
  • Feeling of increased warmth in the area of the leg or arm that is swollen or that hurts
  • Redness or discoloration of the skin
  • Enlargement of the superficial veins in the affected leg or arm

 

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