Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Phlebitis (inflammation of a vein) often occurs together with blood clot formation in the vein, known as thrombophlebitis. If phlebitis is mild, it may not produce any symptoms. When symptoms are present,
- bulging of the vein,
- warmth, and
- redness of the skin are the common symptoms.
In some cases, fever may be present. Infections that cause phlebitis may lead to the drainage of pus from the involved site. Thrombi (clots) in thrombophlebitis can sometimes be felt in the form of hardened cords along the course of a vein. When thrombophlebitis occurs in the deep veins of the lower extremity, swelling of the leg as well as pain and tenderness can occur.
Causes of phlebitis
There are many causes of phlebitis. These include local trauma to a vein, long periods of inactivity or immobility, insertion of intravenous catheters (IV), varicose veins, underlying cancers or clotting disorders, burns, disruption of normal venous system drainage because of removal of lymph nodes, or intravenous drug use.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Main Article on Phlebitis Symptoms and Signs
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
DVT in Pictures: Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis, Beyond Leg Pain and More
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a dangerous and sometimes fatal blood clot that occurs deep within the lower leg or thigh....
Picture of Leg
In popular usage, the leg extends from the top of the thigh down to the foot. See a picture of the Leg and learn more about the...
Spider & Varicose Veins: Causes, Before and After Treatment Images
Learn the causes of spider veins and varicose veins and how to prevent them. Explore which treatments get rid of spider and...
Phlebitis Symptoms and Signs
Examples of Medications for Phlebitis Symptoms and Signs
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter