[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 2, 1976

Iatrogenic Nonsuppurative Infected Thrombophlebitis

JAMA. 1976;235(5):535. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260310049027

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Acute superficial thrombophlebitis of the extremities may be classified according to (1) mode of onset and (2) the condition of the clot, whether noninfected (bland) or infected.

In the first category, the thrombophlebitis may be spontaneous, in which event it may or may not be important. For example, when the condition occurs in a varix, it often indicates simultaneous involvement of deep veins with consequent threat of pulmonary embolism. Also, superficial thrombophlebitis may be a sign of a generalized collagen disease or a sign of a remote, visceral malignant neoplasm. In "mainline" drug addicts, notably heroin addicts, occluded, cord-like superficial veins frequently develop as a result of the irritating effects of the injected drug. In addition, heroin "mainliners," because they disregard sterile techniques, sometimes provoke infected thrombophlebitis, and when the clot suppurates, septic pulmonary infarcts may result. Iatrogenic thrombophlebitis occurs unintentionally when superficial veins are injected with a sclerosing solution,