Types of Thrombosis

Thrombosis is a process involving the formation of a clot in the bloodstream and is classified into several different types according to the location of the thrombus.

The two broad classifications are venous thrombosis and arterial thrombosis, depending on whether the clot was developed in an artery or a vein. Within these categories, there are several subtypes of thrombosis.

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Types of venous thrombi

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) commonly involves the formation of a blood clot in the femoral vein of the leg and is the most common type of thrombosis to cause serious complications. If the thrombus breaks off to form an embolism, it moves within the blood towards the lungs and commonly causes pulmonary embolism.

Typical signs of a deep vein thrombosis include pain, swelling, and redness in the legs. If these are noted and DVT is suspected, assessment and management should be conducted as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of pulmonary embolism.

Portal vein thrombosis

A portal vein thrombosis occurs in the hepatic portal vein, can cause portal hypertension, and affect the blood supply to the liver. In most cases, this type of thrombosis results from other abnormalities in the body, such as pancreatitis, cirrhosis, diverticulitis, or cholangiocarcinoma.

Renal vein thrombosis

The renal vein can also be obstructed by a thrombus, which can result in reduced kidney drainage. This type of thrombosis is known as renal vein thrombosis and is common in patients with nephrotic syndrome.  

Jugular vein thrombosis

Thrombosis of the jugular vein is an extremely rare type of venous thrombosis that usually occurs as a result of intravenous drug use but is also associated with infection and malignancy. Individuals affected by this type of thrombosis may develop serious complications such as systemic sepsis, pulmonary embolism, and papilledema.

Budd-Chiari syndrome

Budd-Chiari syndrome is a type of venous thrombosis that causes obstruction of the hepatic vein and the outflow of blood from the liver. It is uncommon but may be recognized by symptoms of abdominal pain, ascites, and hepatomegaly.

Paget-Schroetter disease

Also known as effort thrombosis, Paget-Schroetter disease refers to thrombosis occurring in an upper extremity vein, such as the axillary or subclavian veins. This condition usually affects physically active people and typically presents immediately after or during high-intensity exercise.

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

A cerebral venous sinus thrombosis is a rare type of stroke that is caused by a thrombus in the venous channels of the brain. This type of thrombosis is characterized by headache, abnormal vision, and some of the typical symptoms of stroke, such as difficulty speaking and moving the facial and arm muscles. The majority of people make a full recovery; however, adequate treatment, as for a stroke, is required to promote healthy recovery.

Arterial thrombi

Thrombotic stroke

A thrombotic stroke is a type of arterial thrombosis that causes a blockage in the cerebral artery that is responsible for supply blood and oxygen to the brain. Thrombotic stroke usually presents more gradually as compared to other types of stroke, such as hemorrhagic, due to the gradual build up of the thrombus and the growing obstruction.

Myocardial infarction

A myocardial infarction can result from several causes but often arises as a result of arterial thrombosis in the coronary artery. This has the potential to be fatal and requires immediate medical attention to address the cause and limit damage to the muscle cells of the heart.


Further Reading

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2021

Yolanda Smith

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Yolanda Smith

Yolanda graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of South Australia and has experience working in both Australia and Italy. She is passionate about how medicine, diet and lifestyle affect our health and enjoys helping people understand this. In her spare time she loves to explore the world and learn about new cultures and languages.


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  1. William Miranda William Miranda Brazil says:

    Olá!  Gostaria muito de tirar uma dúvida que anda me afligindo! Eu sou mùsico e canto há anos e me acompanho com violão.Há cerca de duas semanas ,sentí uma pontada exatamente no ponto de braço direito  onde faço apoio no violão e percebí que a dor vem da veia exatamente nesse ponto. 2 calombos pequeno são visíveis.Sempre que vou tocar ou apoiar essa parte do braço em alguma parte ,como se tivesse pisando numa mangueira ,imterrompendo o fluxo de água(acho!).

  2. William Miranda William Miranda Brazil says:

    Então,sempre que apoio o braço no local de apoio do violão,dói,como se tivesse um espinho no local. É como aquelas dores características de uma veia qdo "incha" após uma pancada e fica sensível a qquer toque. Isso pode ser trombose?Tenho 48 anos de idade ,surfo ,mergulho(caça sub),...!Obrigado pela atenção!

  3. Regiane Campos Regiane Campos Brazil says:

    ola,fui diagnostica com tromboze de via jugular direita,fiz duas cirurgias no ano passado nas pernas por causa de trombofelite,hj faco uso de xarelto20mg,gostaria de saber se nao tem cura,e vou ficar assimpra sempre,tenho 48 anos e tenho 4 filhos.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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