Author(s): Hingorani AP, Ascher E, Markevich N, Schutzer RW, Kallakuri S,
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Abstract The clinical importance of upper extremity deep venous thrombosis (UEDVT) has been increasingly demonstrated in recent literature. Not only has the risk of pulmonary embolism from isolated upper extremity DVT been demonstrated, but a significant associated mortality has been encountered. Examination of this group of patients has demonstrated the existence of combined upper and lower extremity deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in some patients who exhibit an even higher associated mortality. As a result of this information, it has become the standard practice at this institution to search for lower extremity DVTs in patients found to have acute thrombosis of upper extremity veins. Since January 1999, there have been a total of 227 patients diagnosed with acute UEDVT. Within this group, 211 (93\%) patients had lower extremity studies; 45 of these 211 (21\%) had acute lower extremity DVTs by duplex examination in addition to the upper extremity DVTs. Overall, there were 145 women, 66 men, and the average age was 70 +/-1.2 (SEM); 22 of these patients had bilateral lower extremity thrombosis (LEDVT), and 8 patients were found to have chronic thrombosis of lower extremity veins. Of the patients with bilateral upper extremity DVTs, there were 3 with bilateral LE acute DVTs. Finally, 8 of the remaining 166 patients (5\%) with originally negative lower extremity studies were found to develop a thrombosis at a later date. These data serve to confirm previous studies, on a larger scale, that there should be a high index of suspicion in patients with UEDVT of a coexistent LEDVT.
This article was published in Vasc Endovascular Surg
and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access