Causes

Venous stasis, hypercoagulability, and vascular injury are major causes of thrombophlebitis. Venous stasis results from prolonged immobility, pregnancy, obesity, chronic heart disease such as congestive heart failure (CHF) or myocardial infarction, recovery from major surgery (surgical procedures lasting more than 30 minutes), cerebrovascular accidents, and advanced age. Hypercoagulability is associated with pregnancy, cigarette smoking, dehydration, deficiencies of substances involved in clot breakdown, disseminated intravascular coagulation, estrogen supplements and oral contraceptives, and sepsis. Vascular injury can occur with lower extremity fractures, surgery, burns, multiple trauma, childbirth, infections, irritating intravenous (IV) solutions, venipuncture, and venulitis. Other diseases that may lead to thrombus formation are cancer of the lung, gastrointestinal tract, and genitourinary tract and also atrial fibrillation; individuals older than 55 years are also particularly susceptible to thrombophlebitis.

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