The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of cancer in patients with superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) of the legs. Moreover, we aimed to evaluate the potential determinants of SVT complications by comparison of a subgroup with isolated SVT and a subgroup of SVT complicated by concurrent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE) with respect to the presence of cancer and other clinical and laboratory characteristics.
This single centre retrospective study of prospectively collected data was conducted in a tertiary care setting. We included the patients who had been treated in thrombosis clinic from 2006 to 2018 for symptomatic SVT of the legs, either isolated SVT or SVT complicated with concurrent DVT/PE. We evaluated the prevalence and type of malignancy (diagnosed in 12 months prior to SVT and/or ongoing therapy), demographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients. For statistical evaluation, we used Student’s t-test, the Kruskal-Wallis test, Fisher exact two-sided test T-test, and logistic regression.
Of 276 patients with SVT (mean age 58.9±14.7 years; 60.9% females), 191 had isolated SVT and 85 SVT complicated by concurrent DVT/PE. The prevalence of malignancy was 8.7% in the whole group (mainly breast and urinary tract cancer); 4.2% in those with isolated SVT and 18.8% in SVT with concurrent DVT/PE (P<0.001). Between the two subgroups, there were no significant differences in duration of leg symptoms, family or personal history of SVT/DVT, SVT location, and smoking. In logistic regression, several factors were significantly associated with concurrent presence of DVT/PE: age (odds ratio OR 1.024, 95% confidential interval CI 1.004-1.044); female gender (OR 0.545, 95%CI 0.309-0.960); varicose vein SVT (OR 0.42; 95%CI 0.194-0.902); thrombophilia (OR 1.939; 95%CI 1.089-3.454); cancer (OR 4.727; 95%CI 1.814-12.316).
The prevalence of malignancy in the patients with SVT was 8.7%. Age, thrombophilia, male gender, nonvaricose vein SVT and cancer were significantly associated with the presence of concurrent DVT/PE. Cancer was the strongest determinant of this complication.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.