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Phlebitis

Contributors: Casey Silver MD, Pamela L. Sloan MD, Ryan Hoefen MD, PhD, Michael W. Winter MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Phlebitis refers to inflammation of the vein walls, characterized by pain, redness, tenderness, swelling, and induration in the absence of thrombus. This may be due to medication use, a procedural treatment, a medical device, or, less frequently, infection. A common cause of infusion phlebitis is a complication of inserting a peripheral intravenous cannula for administering intravenous fluids and medications, which may provide opportunity for postoperative infection and fever.

Superficial phlebitis occurs typically in the superficial veins of the lower extremities. Phlebitis may be associated with varicose veins, vein trauma, venous stasis, superficial thrombophlebitis, Behçet syndrome, thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger disease), and Mondor syndrome.

Treatment is geared toward alleviating symptoms and preventing thrombus formation and movement into the deep venous system.

Codes

ICD10CM:
I80.9 – Phlebitis and thrombophlebitis of unspecified site

SNOMEDCT:
61599003 – Phlebitis

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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References

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Last Reviewed:03/28/2019
Last Updated:05/20/2019
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Phlebitis
A medical illustration showing key findings of Phlebitis : Arm pain, Hand pain, Intravenous catheter exposure, Leg pain, Peripheral leg edema, Postpartum period
Clinical image of Phlebitis - imageId=2975541. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'An erythematous patch near the ankle. Note the unrelated faintly erythematous papules and plaques of eczema, in the vicinity.'
An erythematous patch near the ankle. Note the unrelated faintly erythematous papules and plaques of eczema, in the vicinity.
Copyright © 2022 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.