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Mild clotting disorders may signal trouble

July 20, 2009 |  1:00 pm

Veins About one-quarter of people with mild blood clotting in vessels close to the skin may also have the potentially dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis, according to a study published today in the Archives of Dermatology.

Superficial vein thrombosis is common and usually affects the veins in the legs. Researchers in Austria studied 46 people with superficial vein thrombosis. All of the patients underwent an imaging test to confirm superficial vein thrombosis and to exclude or detect deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis was found in 24% of patients, most often in the calf muscles.

"Generally, superficial vein thrombosis is regarded as a condition with an uncomplicated course and usually is not considered to be a severe or life-threatening disease," the authors wrote. But, they add, deep vein thrombosis can be a serious condition. People with superficial vein thrombosis in the lower leg may need to be evaluated for deep vein thrombosis.

-- Shari Roan

Photo credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times