Phlegmasia alba dolens and phlegmasia cerulea dolens

Morales MH, Leigh CL, Simon EL. COVID-19 infection with extensive thrombosis: A case of phlegmasia cerulea dolens. Am J Emerg Med. 2020 May 15. Epub ahead of print.

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“Cytokine storm has been implicated in COVID-19 and associated with severe infection [4], allowing for a focus on cytokine and other proinflammatory markers. It is suspected that the extensive release of cytokines causing a proinflammatory state may play a role in thrombus formation [5]. Tanaka et al. reported that IL-6 could activate the coagulation cascade [6], increasing the risk of thrombosis and complication. Our patient did have an elevated level of IL-6, in addition to hypertension and elevated CRP, which are all independent risk factors for increased severity of COVID-19 infection [7].

Helms et al. found that 50 of 57 patients had positive lupus anticoagulant and antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies [1], both of which have been associated with thrombotic complications.”


Shackford SR. (2018). Venous Disease. In: Abernathy’s Surgical Secrets, 7th ed.: p. 357.

What is the difference between phlegmasia alba dolens and phlegmasia cerulea dolens? 

“These two entities occur following iliofemoral venous thrombosis, 75% of which occur on the left side presumably because of compression of the left common iliac vein by the overlying right common iliac artery (May-Thurner syndrome). Iliofemoral venous thrombosis is characterized by unilateral pain and edema of an entire lower extremity, discoloration, and groin tenderness. In phlegmasia alba dolens (literally, painful white swelling), the leg becomes pale. Arterial pulses remain normal. Progressive thrombosis may occur with propagation proximally or distally and into neighboring tributaries. The entire leg becomes both edematous and mottled or cyanotic. This stage is called phlegmasia cerulea dolens (literally, painful purple swelling). When venous outflow is seriously impeded, arterial inflow may be reduced secondarily by as much as 30%. Limb loss is a serious concern and aggressive management (i.e., venous thrombectomy, catheter-directed lytic therapy, or both) is necessary.”

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Left subclavian artery coverage during thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) and the risk of stroke

Swerdlow NJ, et al. Stroke rate after endovascular aortic interventions in the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative. J Vasc Surg. 2020 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print]

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TEVAR table

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Shoulder positioning for subclavian venous catheterization

Jeong HH, et al. A quantitative analysis of the relation between the clavicular tilt angle and subclavian central venous catheter misplacement. Clin Exp Emerg Med. 2014 Dec 31; 1(2):114-119.

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RESULTS: Among all central venous catheterizations (n=1,599), the subclavian route was used 981 times (61.4%). There were 51 misplacements of SCV catheters (5.2%) during the study period. There were no differences in the sex, age, blood pressure, and diagnosis between the two groups. The CTA values were 28.5°±7.3° and 22.6°±6.3° in the misplacement group and control group, respectively (95% confidence interval, 3.6 to 8.1; P<0.001).

CONCLUSION: In this study, the CTA was found to be 5.9° larger in the misplacement group than in the control group. Assuming that CTA indicates the shoulder position, our findings suggest that the chance of SCV catheter misplacement may be reduced by avoiding the shoulder elevated.

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Covered stents and coil embolization for treatment of postpancreatectomy hemorrhage

Hassold N, et al. Effectiveness and outcome of endovascular therapy for late-onset postpancreatectomy hemorrhage using covered stents and embolization. J Vasc Surg. 2016 Nov;64(5):1373-1383.

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Fig 6 stent vs emobliz

RESULTS: Covered stent placement was successful in 14 of 16 patients (88%); embolization was successful in 10 of 11 (91%) patients. For the embolization group, the overall 30-day and 1-year survival rate was 70%, and the 1- and 2-year survival rate was 56%; for the covered stent group, these rates were 81% and 74%, respectively. The 30-day patency of the covered stent was 84%, and 1-year patency was 42%; clinically relevant ischemia was observed in two patients. Infarction distal to the embolized vessel occurred in 6 of 11 patients (55%).

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Effect of inflow and outflow sites on the results of tibioperoneal vein grafts.

Sidawy AN, Menzoian JO, Cantelmo NL, LoGerfo FW. Effect of inflow and outflow
sites on the results of tibioperoneal vein grafts. Am J Surg. 1986 Aug;152(2):211-4.

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“We have reviewed our experience with the tibial vessel bypass operation and have found the overall patency and limb salvage rates to be acceptable. Patients were divided into two groups based on the site of the proximal anastomosis. In Group I, the proximal anastomosis was at the common femoral artery and in Group II, the proximal anastomosis was at the distal superficial femoral artery or the popliteal artery. The patients in the two groups were similar with regard to indications for operation, age, and sex. However, in Group I, 35 percent of the patients were diabetic and in Group II, 74 percent of the patients were diabetic. In the Group I patients, the 72 month graft patency rate was 65 percent with a limb salvage rate of 75 percent. In the Group II patients, the 72 month patency rate was 81 percent with a limb salvage rate of 89 percent. Continue reading

Preoperative evaluation & perioperative management of coronary artery disease in patients undergoing vascular surgery

Bauer SM, Cayne NS, Veith FJ. New developments in the preoperative evaluation and perioperative management of coronary artery disease in patients undergoing vascular surgery. J Vasc Surg. 2010 Jan;51(1):242-51.

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Conclusions: Routine stress testing should not be performed before VS. The Lee index should be used to stratify risk in patients undergoing VS. Patients with >or=3 risk factors or active cardiac conditions should undergo stress testing, if VS can be delayed. All VS patients, except those with 0 risk factors, should be considered for a beta-blocker (bisoprolol, 2.5-5 mg/d started 1 month before VS, titrated to a pulse <70 beats/min and a systolic blood pressure >or=120 mm Hg). Intermediate risk factors may not require aggressive heart rate control but simply maintenance on a low-dose beta-blocker. Statins should be started (ideally 30 days) before all VS using long-acting formulations such as fluvastatin (80 mg/d) for patients unable to take oral medication.

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Prognostic factors in splanchnic vein thromboses

Ageno W, et al. Long-term Clinical Outcomes of Splanchnic Vein Thrombosis: Results of an International Registry. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Sep;175(9):1474-80. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.3184.

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RESULTS: Of the 604 patients (median age, 54 years; 62.6% males), 21 (3.5%) did not complete follow-up. The most common risk factors for SVT were liver cirrhosis (167 of 600 patients [27.8%]) and solid cancer (136 of 600 [22.7%]); the most common sites of thrombosis were the portal vein (465 of 604 [77.0%]) and the mesenteric veins (266 of 604 [44.0%]). Anticoagulation was administered to 465 patients in the entire cohort (77.0%) with a mean duration of 13.9 months; 175 of the anticoagulant group (37.6%) received parenteral treatment only, and 290 patients (62.4%) were receiving vitamin K antagonists. The incidence rates (reported with 95% CIs) were 3.8 per 100 patient-years (2.7-5.2) for major bleeding, 7.3 per 100 patient-years (5.8-9.3) for thrombotic events, and 10.3 per 100 patient-years (8.5-12.5) for all-cause mortality. During anticoagulant treatment, these rates were 3.9 per 100 patient-years (2.6-6.0) for major bleeding and 5.6 per 100 patient-years (3.9-8.0) for thrombotic events. After treatment discontinuation, rates were 1.0 per 100 patient-years (0.3-4.2) and 10.5 per 100 patient-years (6.8-16.3), respectively. The highest rates of major bleeding and thrombotic events during the whole study period were observed in patients with cirrhosis (10.0 per 100 patient-years [6.6-15.1] and 11.3 per 100 patient-years [7.7-16.8], respectively); the lowest rates were in patients with SVT secondary to transient risk factors (0.5 per 100 patient-years [0.1-3.7] and 3.2 per 100 patient-years [1.4-7.0], respectively).

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The surgical management of mycotic (infected) aneurysms

Razavi MK, Razavi MD. Stent-graft treatment of mycotic aneurysms: a review of the current literature. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2008;19(6 Suppl):S51–S56.

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“Mycotic aneurysms are rare but are associated with a high risk of rupture if not treated promptly. The early mortality rate associated with traditional surgery depends on patients’ condition and can be as high as 43%. The use of stent-grafts is less invasive but the outcome is unproven in the setting of infected aneurysms. In an attempt to better elucidate the role of stent-grafts in this setting, a literature search was performed to examine 52 articles describing 91 patients with mycotic aneurysms who were treated with stent-grafts. The early mortality rate was 5.6%. Incidences of late aneurysm-related mortality and complications were 12.2% and 7.8%, respectively. The most consistent predictor of poor outcome was development of aortoenteric fistula. Although the 30-day mortality rate associated with the use of stent-grafts appears to be lower than that associated with surgery, late aneurysm-related events are frequent and warrant a more vigilant follow-up regimen than used with noninfected aneurysms.”

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Splenic artery aneurysms: Comparing open and endovascular surgical modalities

Barrionuevo P, Malas MB, Nejim B, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the management of visceral artery aneurysms. J Vasc Surg. 2019;70(5):1694–1699.

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“We included 33 case series of 523 splenic artery aneurysms treated with an endovascular approach and 22 series of 252 splenic artery aneurysms treated with open surgery. Short-term and long-term mortality rates were very low and not significantly different between the two interventions. Mortality was high for ruptured aneurysms treated with an open approach, with an event rate of 0.29 (95% CI, 0.04-0.71). End-organ infarction and gastrointestinal complications rates were not significantly different between the two approaches. The need for reintervention was lower for open surgery 0.00 (95% CI, 0.00-0.11) than for the endovascular approach 0.07 (95% CI, 0.01-0.17). The risk of access site complications for the endovascular approach was low at 0.02 (95% CI, 0.00-0.09). Rates of PES and coil migration were 0.38 (95% CI, 0.04-0.79) and 0.08 (95% CI, 0.00-0.24), respectively. Data were insufficient to identify a difference in mortality based on aneurysm size.”

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