Thrombosis: what is it about, how is it classified and how is its treatment

The formation of a clot in one of the veins of the body is called Thrombosis. And while it typically affects older people, it doesn't mean it can affect younger adults. Therefore we will talk in more detail about the thrombosis, what it is, how it is classified and how it is treated.

Definition of thrombosis

Thrombosis is defined as the formation of blood clots, commonly called clots or emboli. Housed in one of the heart chambers or in a blood vessel. Causing a partial or complete obstruction in the flow of blood, through the circulatory system.

Bearing in mind the site where the thrombosis occurs, it could cause ischemia in the arteries (it is a state where cells suffer, due to the lack of oxygen and nutrition in the affected area). But if it occurs in a vein, it could cause stasis (it is the stagnation or retention in the progression of blood flow). It also means that types of thrombosis and treatment they depend on where the clots form.

One of the things that must be taken into account with this kind of pathology is that thrombi have the ability to move to other parts of the circulatory system. And that's when they become emboli. Causing other problems that could be more serious, depending on where the clot is lodged.

Thrombosis should not be confused with varicose veins, since they could be a cause of VTE. Being these dilations in the veins, where a thrombus is not always lodged that generates obstruction in the vein. For example, venous thrombosis especially affects areas such as the thigh or calf.

Thrombosis is considered the third cause of death due to cardiovascular problems, after myocardial infarction and stroke. Despite this consideration, there is the possibility of preventing this problem and of undertaking treatment to improve it.

What are your symptoms?

In general, symptoms occur locally in the presence of a thrombosis. Especially pains that are located towards the venous path of the leg, gradually increasing with the flexion of the foot. There may also be a certain feeling of heaviness in the movements of the affected area, a certain amount of functional impotence, and a local increase in temperature in said limb.

There are cases where thrombosis symptoms they present in a general way, as in the case of fever or increased heart rates. Apart from this, respiratory symptoms such as cough, dyspnea and occasionally hemoptysis may be manifested. This last symptom could be accompanied by pulmonary embolisms as the case may be.

In summary, the most common symptoms in thrombosis are the following:

– Pain in the limb that has been affected.

– Sensations of heaviness.

– Edema.

– Increase in temperature at the local level in the affected area.

Types of thrombosis

Arterial thrombosis

It occurs due to a vascular injury due to the rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque, which produces a clot. Causing an obstruction in the irrigated tissue, which may end with the presence of necrosis in it. A type of thrombosis like this is a consequence of the decrease in the amount of oxygen in the affected area. What causes the metabolism of cells to change, going from being aerobic to an anaerobic process.

In all of the above-mentioned procedure, the microcirculation of the blood is severely impaired. Even reaching cell death, in case the ischemia is prolonged.

Venous thrombosis

It takes place mainly in the lower or lower extremities, and the factors by which it could appear are:

– Be of advanced age.

– Myocardial infarction.

– Traumas and surgeries.

– Prolonged immobility.

– Heart failure.

Hypercoagulation after having undergone surgery. It is possible that it is due to some type of cancer, in pregnancy and even postpartum. Although it could also be due to injuries caused by trauma, or some other health problem.

The main characteristic of venous thrombosis is the highly painful congestion in the veins found in the lower extremities. If this condition is extremely severe, pulmonary embolisms may occur as a thrombus dislodges and lodges in one of the lungs.

Another classification of thrombosis

Both types of thrombosis that exist are arterial thrombosis and venous thrombosis, as already mentioned. However, within these categories there are some subtypes of this condition.

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Deep venous thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis refers to the formation of thrombi towards the leg femoral vein. Of all the kinds of thrombosis that exist, this is one of the most common and causes serious complications. As mentioned above, when the clot travels to another area and ends up moving away in the lungs, it causes pulmonary embolism.

Among the most common symptoms of a deep vein thrombosis are pain, swelling, and redness in the affected area.

Portal vein thrombosis

It usually occurs in the hepatic portal vein and causes portal hypertension, severely affecting the blood supply to the liver. It is usual that in most cases this type of thrombosis is caused by other conditions such as pancreatitis or cirrhosis.

Jugular vein thrombosis

It is among the rarest classification of thrombi of all, as it usually occurs from intravenous drug use. However, it is possible that it is associated with an infection or malignant pathology. Those who have been affected by a problem like this have serious complications such as systemic sepsis, papilledema and pulmonary embolism.

Cerebral thrombosis

It is also a rare condition, characterized by the formation of a thrombus in one of the veins found in the brain. One of the symptoms that characterizes this problem is headache. But it also causes blurred vision, difficulties speaking and moving any of the facial muscles.

Renal vein thrombosis

Like any of the veins found in the body, the renal vein can also become blocked by clots. Causing wastes from the kidneys to occur in a reduced form. It is usually a common disease in people with nephrotic syndrome.


It is also known as stress thrombosis. Referring to the formation of a clot in one of the veins of the upper extremities, such as in the armpit. It is common for it to affect people who are physically active. Generating problems after or before doing a high intensity exercise.

Budd-Chiari syndrome

It is also a type of venous thrombosis, but it affects the hepatic vein and could cause blood to leak into the liver. Although it is a rare problem, it is recognized by symptoms such as ascites and abdominal hepatomegaly.

Treatment and diagnosis of thrombosis

Making a proper diagnosis is of great importance to carry out the treatment for thrombosis. The patient's medical history will help to visualize what the risk factors could be as the case may be.

Usually a treatment for thrombosis should be based on the following:

– Anticoagulant therapies.

– Compression methods.

– Venous catheterization.

Carry out exercises that focus on promoting venous return, especially in the lower extremities.

Prevention measures

That a specialist makes a detection of the pathology in time is of great help to avoid complications once the thrombosis develops. However, early prevention is always better, since in this way the chances of suffering from this problem are considerably reduced.

To reduce the risks of suffering from a condition like this, you must combat some factors such as tobacco, obesity, alcohol consumption, among others.

The intake of oral contraceptives has to be controlled by an expert doctor, as it increases the risks of clot formation. Taking into account the hormonal load that the treatment implies.

It is recommended to exercise, walk and avoid leading a sedentary life. You should also avoid keeping your legs in one position for too long.