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Difference Between DVT and Thrombophlebitis

DVT vs Thrombophlebitis

One of the most painful arterial and vein abnormalities we can get is DVT and thrombophlebitis. This is a condition in which there is an inflammation in the veins as well as blood clots. Thus, there is obstruction of the flow of blood making the condition painful. Most occurrences of DVT and thrombophlebitis occur in the legs while other conditions occur in the arms.

The main body system that is responsible for this is the vascular system. The vascular system is composed of arteries and veins which have the responsibility of transporting oxygenated and non-oxygenated blood from the heart and all throughout the body.

What are the differences?

DVT is also known as deep vein thrombosis. It is a condition in which deep veins become inflamed. The deep veins also suffer from blood clots. These deep veins are not your superficial veins under the skin surface. These are very deep. DVT is caused by inactivity or by having long bed rest. It can also be caused by certain conditions such as certain types of cancer, pregnancy, infections, obesity, and surgery.

The dangerous complication of DVT is breaking off of the blood clot from the veins. When this happens, there is a risk of embolism. Embolism happens when the clot travels and gets stuck in certain organs. When it lodges in the lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism. It is a very fatal condition. DVT can also cause varicose veins, swelling and pain in the legs when there is permanent damage in the vein. DVT is diagnosed with ultrasound.

If DVT occurs in deep veins, thrombophlebitis, on the other hand, occurs in superficial veins. It also has inflammation and blood clots. The caused of it is due to irritation of these superficial veins through irritating IV medications which cause burning of these veins such as with antibiotics. No serious complications can arise from thrombophlebitis unlike DVT. There is pain and redness in thrombophlebitis plus a warm temperature on the skin.

Thrombophlebitis is treated with elevation and resting of the legs. Anti-inflammatory meds can also be given and analgesia to prevent pain. DVT, on the other hand, is treated with thrombolytics or blood thinners. This helps in preventing the blood from having a thick consistency thus preventing formation of blood clots. Compression stockings are also used at the same time to prevent further damage.


1.DVT occurs in the deep veins while thrombophlebitis occurs in the superficial veins.
2.DVT is more life threatening than thrombophlebitis.
3.DVT is diagnosed with ultrasound while thrombophlebitis is diagnosed through assessment.
4.DVT is treated with blood thinners and compression stockings while thrombophlebitis is treated with anti-inflmmatories and pain medications.

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