Thrombophlebitis in children

Thrombophlebitis in children

Thrombophlebitis is a circulatory disease that is manifested by partial or total obstruction of the walls of veins due to the formation of blood clots, called thrombi. Most patients are over the age of 40, so the disease is rare in children and young people.


Swollen, painful or tingling feet may be a consequence of thrombophlebitis, whose advanced form (venous thrombosis) can have severe complications, including pulmonary embolism. Thrombosis is rare in pediatrics, so an exact classification of the types of this condition at an early age is difficult to achieve.

Manifestation of thrombophlebitis

Thrombophlebitis occurs when the venous wall becomes inflamed due to the formation of blood clots and causes blood circulation to develop in difficult conditions. The disease starts at the level of the calf and ascends to the veins of the femur.

Depending on the affected area, thrombophlebitis can be superficial (targeting subcutaneous veins) or deep (clogging muscle veins).

Causes of thrombophlebitis in children

Thrombophlebitis is favored by the acute predisposition of the child to hypercoagulability (exaggerated blood coagulation) and the decrease of fibrinolytic activity (plasminogen activators, a glycoprotein that dissolves the intravascular thrombus) in the body.

Heredity is another cause of childhood thrombophlebitis, if there have been such cases in the family medical history.

Thrombophlebitis also occurs as a result of cardio-circulatory insufficiency (heart disease), anemia, trauma, abdominal surgery, prolonged sedentary lifestyle due to bed rest or constipation.

Children with cancer, especially those receiving chemotherapy, are prone to developing blood clots.

Symptoms of thrombophlebitis in children

When a child suffers from thrombophlebitis, symptoms commonly encountered in adults (pain, redness, heat in the affected area) are often absent. Excessive swelling can help the doctor diagnose the disease.

Before installing the pulmonary embolism, the child complains of chest discomfort.

Treatment of thrombophlebitis in children

The treatment of the condition is the same as that used for adults:

  • anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners);
  • surgery (in case the child cannot take anticoagulant drugs safely).