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Clinical Presentation and Risk Factors of Venous Thromboembolic Disease

Alhassan, Sulaiman MD; Pelinescu, Anca MD; Gandhi, Viral MD; Naddour, Mouhib MD; Singh, Anil C. MD, MPH, FCCP; Bihler, Eric DO

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000159
Original Articles

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) has a wide range of clinical presentations. Deep venous thrombosis may occur in upper or lower extremities or in visceral veins. Extremity deep venous thrombosis usually manifests with unilateral painful swelling in the limb, while visceral deep venous thrombosis manifestations vary on the basis of the involved organ. Pulmonary embolism classically manifests with sudden pleuritic chest pain and unexplained dyspnea. Superficial thrombophlebitis usually presents with acute inflammation around a palpable thrombosed superficial vein. Risk factors of VTE are either inherited or acquired. The inherited causes of VTE tend to be familial and more common in younger patients. The common acquired risk factors of VTE include previous history of venous thrombosis, immobilization, recent surgery or trauma, malignancy, and pregnancy. Identifying high-risk patients for VTE based on these risk factors is the cornerstone to provide the prophylactic treatment to prevent thrombotic events.

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Drs Alhassan, Gandhi, Naddour, Singh, and Bihler) and Department of Medicine (Dr Pelinescu), Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Correspondence: Sulaiman Alhassan, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Allegheny General Hospital, 320 East North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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