Superficial thrombophlebitis guidelines
Superficial vein thrombosis or thrombophlebitis (STP) in the lower limb is a relatively common, painful, and in many cases self-limiting condition. Around 10-21% of patients with STP will already have DVT at presentation and a further 3-4% will progress to it if untreated. Patients with at least 5 cm of thrombus in a superficial vein are more likely to have underlying DVT if the STP is in the proximal long saphenous vein (within 10 cm of the saphenofemoral junction). STP within a varicose vein is less likely to be associated with underlying DVT.
Patients with clinical signs of superficial thrombophlebitis affecting the proximal long saphenous vein should have an ultrasound scan to exclude concurrent DVT.
Patients with confirmed SVT within 3cm of the sapheno-femoral junction should be considered for therapeutic anticoagulation
Patients with superficial thrombophlebitis, without DVT, should have anti-embolism stockings and, if extending above the knee, be considered for treatment with prophylactic doses of LMWH for up to 30 days or fondaparinux for 45 days.
If LMWH is contraindicated, or where the STP is confined to the calf, 8-12 days of oral NSAIDs should be offered.
Taken from the BCSH guidelines, page 7