Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
phlebitis(fləbī`tĭs), inflammation of a vein. Phlebitis is almost always accompanied by a blood clot, or thrombus, in the affected vein, a condition known as thrombophlebitis (see thrombosisthrombosis
, obstruction of an artery or vein by a blood clot (thrombus). Arterial thrombosis is generally more serious because the supply of oxygen and nutrition to an area of the body is halted.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Blood-clot formation may follow injury or be associated with infections. Thrombophlebitis of deep veins, usually in the legs or pelvis, may occur in patients recovering from childbirth, surgery, or other conditions requiring prolonged bedrest; the clotting mechanism is thought to be impaired when the legs are immobilized. Pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives predisposes some women to thrombophlebitis. The major danger is that a clot originating in the leg vein may dislodge and travel to the lung, a condition known as pulmonary embolism (see embolusembolus
, foreign matter circulating in and obstructing a blood vessel. It may be a portion of a clot that has separated from the wall of a vessel (see thrombosis), a bubble of gas or air (known as an air embolus), a globule of fat, a clump of bacterial matter, or a clump of
..... Click the link for more information. ). To avoid the risk of embolism, thrombophlebitis is usually treated with anticoagulantsanticoagulant
, any of several substances that inhibit blood clot formation (see blood clotting). Some anticoagulants, such as the coumarin derivatives bishydroxycoumarin (Dicumarol) and warfarin (Coumadin) inhibit synthesis of prothrombin, a clot-forming substance, and other
..... Click the link for more information. .
an inflammation of a venous wall caused by an infection or by the introduction of an irritating agent into the vein (aseptic phlebitis). Thrombophlebitis results from the additional presence of thrombosis. Phlebitis occurs most commonly in the veins of the pelvis and in the superficial and deep veins of the extremities. Phlebitis of the portal vein, or pylephlebitis, is usually a complication of an inflammatory or purulent process in the abdominal cavity. Phlebitis may result in sclerosis of the vein. In the treatment of varicose veins aseptic phlebitis is sometimes induced artificially by injecting an irritant into the lumen of a vein for the purpose of obliterating the lumen.