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Minerva Medica 2021 May 10

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.21.07578-9

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Management of upper extremity deep vein thrombosis: an updated review of the literature

Nicola POTERE 1, Matteo CANDELORO 2, Ettore PORRECA 1, Marcello DI NISIO 2

1 Department of Innovative Technologies in Medicine and Dentistry, University G. d'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy; 2 Department of Medicine and Ageing Sciences, University G. d’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy


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Upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (UEDVT) represents about 5-10% of all cases of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) with a steadily increasing incidence mostly due to the high prevalence of cancer and frequent use of intravascular devices such as central venous catheters and pacemaker. In primary UEDVT, the venous outflow obstruction and subsequent thrombosis are related to congenital or acquired anatomical abnormalities, whereas secondary UEDVT is often associated with malignancy or indwelling lines. A considerable proportion of patients with UEDVT develops serious complications such as recurrent thrombosis, post-thrombotic syndrome, and pulmonary embolism, therefore timely diagnosis and adequate
treatment are of crucial importance. Despite sharing many similarities with lower extremity DVT, UEDVT has distinctive features requiring specific diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. The present review discusses the latest evidence on the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of UEDVT, and provides management indications which may help guide clinical decision making.


KEY WORDS: Upper extremity deep vein thrombosis; Post-thrombotic syndrome; Pulmonary embolism; Diagnosis; Anticoagulants

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