Superficial venous thrombosis (SVT) is a common clinical problem across various treatment settings. SVT shares risk factors with deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and carries a risk of thromboembolic complications, greater than previously expected. Little is known about the pathophysiology, resolution and recurrence of this disease.
The objective of the present study was to describe the natural course of SVT, and factors correlated with the progression or resolution of the thrombus.
We included 218 patients with a recent diagnosis of SVT that were consecutively referred to a thrombosis clinic from the Emergency Department (ED) between January 2016 and April of 2018.
The resolution of the thrombus prior to discharge was correlated to gender (female 73.8% vs. male 57.5%, p = 0.015), presence of varicose veins (62.4% vs. 46.4, p = 0.026), absence of family or personal history of thrombosis (98% vs. 91.3%, p = 0.021). The factor most correlated to thrombus resolution prior to discharge was the result of the 2nd ultrasound (improvement 83.9% vs. 16.1%, p < 0.001) immediately after initiation of heparin treatment. In the multivariate analysis, a high thrombus burden in the early follow-up ultrasound was the most significant predictive variable with prior to discharge recanalization (B = 20.9, 95% CI 9.8-44.7; p < 0.001).
The follow-up of SVT with duplex lower extremity ultrasound allows us to monitor the evolution and early identify residual thrombosis, as a marker of hypercoagulability and recurrence. This study offers new perspectives for future research, necessary to improve the management of this disease, to reduce long-term complications.