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ID: 113
Category: Skin Condition
CreatedBy: 1
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createdon: 25 Jan 2023
updatedon: 04 Apr 2023

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Author: Khoa Tran
Published Jan 25, 2023
Updated Apr 04, 2023

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Deep Vein Thrombosis

Etymology and Pronunciation

Thrombosis (throm-BO-sis)
thrombos - Greek for  "clot" or "lump"
-ōsis - Greek for "process or condition"

History of Deep Vein Thrombosis

The history and discovery of DVT can be traced back to the 19th century, when German physician Rudolf Virchow first proposed the triad of factors that contribute to the development of DVT: stasis of blood flow, injury to the blood vessel wall, and hypercoagulability (an increased tendency for blood to clot).

In the early 20th century, researchers began to investigate the underlying causes of DVT in more detail. In the 1930s, researchers discovered that DVT could be induced in animals by immobilizing them for prolonged periods of time. This led to the realization that reduced blood flow and stasis played a key role in the development of DVT.

In the 1950s and 60s, researchers began to identify specific risk factors for DVT, including surgery, trauma, cancer, and pregnancy. It was also discovered that the use of hormonal contraceptives increased the risk of DVT.

In the 1980s and 90s, researchers developed new imaging techniques, such as ultrasound and venography, which allowed for the non-invasive diagnosis of DVT. These techniques have since become the standard for diagnosing DVT.

In recent years, researchers have made significant progress in understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms that contribute to the development of DVT. It is now known that certain genetic mutations can increase an individual's risk of developing DVT, and that specific proteins in the blood play a role in the formation of blood clots.

Modern Understanding of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein deep in the body, usually in the legs. This can happen when blood flow is slowed or blocked, causing blood to pool and form a clot.

Symptoms of DVT may include swelling, pain, warmth, or redness in the affected area, which is usually the leg. Some people may not have any symptoms at all. 

If a piece of the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, it can cause a serious and potentially life-threatening condition called a pulmonary embolism (PE), causing shortness of breath, chest pain, or even death.

Causes of Deep Vein Thrombosis

- Prolonged immobility: Sitting for long periods of time, such as during a long flight or car ride, can increase the risk of DVT.
- Surgery: Surgery, particularly orthopedic procedures, can increase the risk of DVT.
- Injury: Trauma to the legs, such as a broken bone, can increase the risk of DVT.
- Cancer: Certain types of cancer, such as pancreatic, ovarian, or lung cancer, can increase the risk of DVT.
- Hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy: Taking estrogen-containing birth control pills or undergoing hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of DVT.
- Pregnancy: The changes in blood clotting factors during pregnancy can increase the risk of DVT.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of DVT.
- Smoking: Smoking damages the lining of the blood vessels, increasing the risk of DVT.

Treatments for Deep Vein Thrombosis

To treat DVT, anticoagulant therapy is used to prevent the clot from getting bigger and to reduce the risk of PE. 

- Blood thinners: Blood thinners, also known as anticoagulants, are often the first-line treatment for DVT. These medications work by preventing the formation of new clots and stopping existing clots from getting bigger. Common blood thinners include warfarin, heparin, and rivaroxaban.
- Compression stockings: Compression stockings are specially designed stockings that apply pressure to the legs to improve blood flow and reduce swelling. They can also help prevent the development of new clots.
- Catheter-directed thrombolysis: In this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the vein, and a medication is delivered directly to the clot to dissolve it.
- Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter: An IVC filter is a small device that is inserted into the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the legs to the heart. The filter can help prevent clots from traveling to the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism.
- Thrombectomy: Thrombectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the clot from the vein. This is typically only used in severe cases of DVT where other treatments have been ineffective.

Symptoms

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Varicose veins

Confirmation Tests

- Ultrasound
- Blood test
- Venography
- MRI

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