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THE prevention, recognition, and early treatment of thrombophlebitis is important because of its relation to two significant medical conditions: (1) pulmonary embolism; and (2) chronic venous insufficiency. Thrombo-phlebitis may complicate medical, surgical and obstetrical cases. The incidence of thrombophlebitis during recent years appears to be on the increase which probably is due to the greater number of patients undergoing surgery and also to the extent of surgical procedures.

Certain types of thrombophlebitis do not cause the serious complications mentioned; therefore it is desirable to outline a simple classification so that the more serious types can be readily differentiated.


(1) Local Thrombophlebitis. In this classification we include throm-bophlebitis involving the superficial veins, resulting from the injection of intravenous materials which have acted as an irritant. The mercurial diuretics, arsenicals, and materials used in x-ray diagnosis may result in a local chemical thrombophlebitis when injected. Superficial thrombophlebitis may follow trauma to an extremity. Large varicose veins may become thrombosed and areas of phlebitis ensue.

In the presence of inflammatory and suppurative lesions, local areas of thrombophlebitis secondary to these conditions may occur. Where severe arterial occlusion exists, local areas of thrombophlebitis may develop, particularly if there is a gangrenous condition and an area of demarcation. These forms of thrombophlebitis are usually local in nature and secondary to some specific condition. They do not usually result in complications other than local distress.

(2) Primary Thrombophlebitis. In this group we classify recurrent idiopathic thrombophlebitis or thrombophlebitis migrans, the etiology of which has not. . .



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