Post thrombotic syndrome

Conditions associated with venous thromboembolism—post thrombotic syndrome

Post thrombotic syndrome (PTS) is a chronic, long-term complication of DVT that can happen months or years after an initial blood clot. PTS usually develops between six months and two years after having a DVT. PTS happens in about one half of patients after symptomatic DVT and is the most common complication of DVT [2].

There is a broad range of symptoms, ranging from mild redness to massive swelling and ulceration. The symptoms are usually worse with activity, such as standing and walking.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Swelling
  • The feeling of heaviness
  • Fluid retention
  • Skin changes in the affected leg

There is no specific treatment. Treatment options are limited, with compression stockings and elevation recommended.

Figure: the most severe complication of post thrombotic syndrome is a venous leg ulcer, which is a non-healing ulcer of the lower leg. This open skin wound develops because blood is no longer able to properly flow through the vein, which results in blood stasis and tissue swelling.