Management of Superficial Thrombophlebitis in Secondary Care in Adults (excluding pregnancy)


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Superficial vein thrombosis also known as superficial thrombophlebitis (STP) is a common condition, likely more common than deep vein thrombosis.  It is a painful condition affecting the superficial veins, usually of the lower limbs. It should not be confused with superficial femoral vein thrombosis, as this is thrombosis in a deep vein and requires full anticoagulation therapy.

STP can occur alone or in association with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In people with STP, 6-44% are associated with or develop DVT, 20-33% with asymptomatic pulmonary embolism (PE) and 2-13% with symptomatic PE 2-14. Those associated with the great saphenous vein appear to have the strongest association with venous thromboembolism.


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Acute / All Inpatient

Last reviewed: 03 January 2020

Next review: 31 December 2021

Author(s): Catherine Bagot

Version: 5

Author Email(s): [email protected]

Approved By: Medicines Utilisation Subcommittee of ADTC

Document Id: 396