Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood disorder resulting from the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) inside a deep vein of the leg. DVT is commonly located in the calf or thigh. DVT occurs when the blood clot either partially or completely blocks the flow of blood in the vein. Patient symptoms include pain, swelling, and discoloration.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is one part of a disease called venous thromboembolism (VTE). The other part of VTE is the leading cause of preventable hospital death in the United States, Pulmonary Embolism (PE). A PE occurs when a portion of the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, which can lead to death.
Approximately 2,000,000 Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. DVT is the third leading cardiovascular disease behind heart attack and stroke. Patients with DVT are traditionally treated with anticoagulation therapy (blood thinners) alone. While blood thinners are effective in reducing the risk of a fatal pulmonary embolism and growth of the blood clot, the underlying blood clot may remain, which could lead to the development of post thrombotic syndrome.
Within the veins, there are small valves that allow blood to continue to flow upwards to the heart and lungs while preventing blood from flowing backwards due to the fact that blood flow is slower in veins than in arteries.
When a person develops DVT, the blood clot can damage the valves by pushing against them and causing them to remain open. If left untreated, the blood clot may damage the valve by preventing it to return to the closed position. When the valves are damaged, it can lead to a condition called post thrombotic syndrome (PTS).
Some Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) patients may suffer from post thrombotic syndrome, which may include:
• Leg Pain
• Leg swelling and cramping that gets worse with standing and walking
• In rare but severe cases, venous ulcers.
This can affect the quality of life for the patient. The methods of treatment for PTS are currently limited.
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