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Blood Clot in a Vein


A blood clot (a clump of blood) that forms in a vein and causes inflammation is called thrombophlebitis. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, warmth, and redness along the length of a vein.

A clot may form either in a vein just under the surface of the skin (superficial thrombophlebitis) or in a vein deep in the leg (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT). Clots in a vein just under the skin rarely cause serious problems because they do not travel through the bloodstream. Once this kind of blood clot has been diagnosed by a health professional, the person can often care for the symptoms safely at home.

Thrombophlebitis can occur in any vein, but it is most common in the leg veins. Clots in a deep leg vein (deep vein thrombosis) are serious because a clot can break loose and travel through the bloodstream to the lung (pulmonary embolism). Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include swelling, pain, and possibly redness in one leg or a noticeable new difference in the size of one leg. Another symptom of deep vein thrombosis is pain when walking or when the foot is flexed upward.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology
Last RevisedDecember 28, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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