This website is for informational use only and does not provide any medical advice.

What is acute vascular thrombosis?

Acute vascular thrombosis occurs when a blood clot obstructs a vein. Veins carry blood back toward the heart after the blood has been pumped to different parts of the body and the oxygen used. Blockages in these vessels can slow or even stop blood flow and cause serious consequences. Different types of vascular thrombosis occur in different parts of the body.

One of the biggest dangers of vascular thrombosis happens when the blood clot breaks free and travels back to the lungs. A pulmonary embolism can occur when the blood clot blocks an artery of the lung, causing chest pains, irregular heartbeats, or even cardiac failure.


Thrombophlebitis— This type of vascular thrombosis causes the formation of blood clots in veins that are close to the skin. These clots can sometimes be identified with a physical examination. When the clots are large enough, they manifest as painful, hard spots beneath the skin. These clots can discolor the skin and appear as a red spot in the center of a tender, sensitive area.

Intestinal ischemia— This type of vascular thrombosis blocks or slows the blood flow to the intestines. This can lead to the death of intestinal tissues or scarring on the inside of the intestines or colon. When the blood flow to these damaged areas ceases, it is nearly impossible for the damage to heal. When this occurs, the passageways that digested material pass through narrow and results in cramps and pain, nausea, weight loss or painful bowel movements. If left untreated, it can result in death.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)—​​​​​​​ DVT means the blockages occur in veins deep within the muscles of the body, occurring most commonly in the legs. 50 percent of all DVT cases have no symptoms.

When to see a doctor?

If you have any of the following DVT symptoms, especially if they occur suddenly, call your doctor immediately:

  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, which may occur only while standing or walking
  • Warmth in the skin of the affected leg
  • Red or discolored skin in the affected leg
  • Visible surface veins Leg fatigue


Acute vascular thrombosis is caused by blood clots in the veins.

Thrombophlebitis is caused by injury to the veins, where clots build up and cannot be broken down by the body’s natural processes.

Intestinal ischemia blocks or slows the blood flow to the intestines.

Deep vein thrombosis, perhaps the best known form of vascular thrombosis, can be caused by long periods of inactivity that slows blood flow to the extremities. People who are bedridden while they recover from surgery or illness and those who are on long airline flights can be particularly vulnerable. People who smoke, are obese or have a family history of heart disease have a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis.