Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms deep inside a part of the body. Deep vein thrombosis can typically form in the thigh and lower leg, but sometimes it can form in the arm and pelvis area. Deep vein thrombosis itself is not dangerous, but it can be life-threatening when the piece of the blood clot breaks of and travel through the circulating system known as embolism reaching to the heart and pulmonary artery and getting lodged there.
- This can prevent blood from flowing properly through the lung and decreasing the amount of oxygen absorbed and distributed back to the body which is known as pulmonary embolism.
- Embolism can travel and get lodged in any part of the body in heart, lungs, brain or any other area.
Symptoms of DVT:
Causes of deep vein thrombosis:
- Prolonged travel or sitting, such as of long airplane, car or train travel.
- Thrombophilia-An abnormality in blood coagulation that increases the risk of blood thrombosis.
- Venous statis-An condition of slow blood flow in the vein, usually in the legs, which can cause thrombosis in legs.
- Surgery can lead to high risk of deep vein thrombosis and mainly surgery in the lower extremist such as that of knee replacement surgery.
- Pregnancy-Change in the level of the hormones, and slower blood flow as the uterus expands increase the risk of DVT.
Risk factors of DVT:
- Adults above the age of 60 are mostly at the highest risk of having DVT.
- Having an injury that damages the veins
- Being overweight, which puts more pressure on the veins of the legs and pelvis
- Having a family history of DVT
- Having a catheter placed in a vein
- Taking birth control pills or undergoing hormone therapy
- smoking (especially heavy usage)
Treatments of DVT:
- Medication-Anticoagulants prevent further formation of blood clot and can stop an embolus to reach to lungs or other part of the body.
- Heparin-It is an anticoagulant and it may be given depending on the history and severity of the patient.
- Warfarin-A blood thinning drug is given with heparin, which blocks blood clotting factors.
- Pressure stocking- A pressure stocking improves blood flow in your legs and reduces your risk for complications from blood clots.
- Filters-If any patient is not able to take blood thinners, the filters can be placed inside the vena cava, this prevents pulmonary embolism by preventing the blood from entering into the lungs. This is often placed after surgery.
Diagnosis of DVT:
- The primary test for the diagnosis is done by a physical test.
- The two foremost technique needed for the diagnosis of DVT are:
- D-dimer blood test-D-dimer is a blood test that may be used as a screening test to determine if a blood clot exists. A positive test may not mean a DVT is present. Any blood clot will give positive results.
- Ultrasonography-It is the standard method to determine DVT.USG would be able to show different DVT in any part of the body. But clot in chest or pelvis may not be identified by Ultrasound.
- There are other certain blood tests which can show an increase chance in blood clot. They are-
- Activated protein C resistance (checks for the Factor V Leiden mutation)
- Antithrombin levels
- Antiphospholipid antibodies
- Complete blood count (CBC
- Genetic testing to look for mutations that make you more likely to develop blood clots, such as the prothrombin G20210A mutation
- Lupus anticoagulant
- Protein C and protein S levels