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Can a pathologist determine the stage of phlebitis?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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can a pathologist determine the stage of phlebitis (recent or advanced) based on an autopsy exam through observation and microscopic slides taken of the vein?
Posted Thu, 20 Mar 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 3 hours later
Brief Answer: difficult but not impossible Detailed Answer: Hello, Yes, a pathologist can determine the stage of phlebitis based on both autopsy exam observation and microscopic slides of the vein. However, this is going to be difficult and needs expertize in the same. A well experienced pathologist would be able to do this. On direct examination at autopsy, it would be more difficult to make out the difference between recent and advanced phlebitis, as the tissues would lose their naked eye appearances soon. A detailed study of the microscopic slides can help better in this regard. Histologic findings include inflammatory reaction in the vein wall and thrombus in the lumen of the vein. Fibrinoid necrosis is seen in some cases. These are all pathological terms that may be difficult for you to understand. As told earlier, an experienced pathologist can help you with this.
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Follow-up: Can a pathologist determine the stage of phlebitis? 16 hours later
Thank you for your reponse, Dr. Shanthi E., The autopsy results I am referring to are those of my mother. Her autopsy report listed the cause of death as thrombophlebitis (deep vein thrombosis). She was 65 years old. Would you be able to tell me where I could locate a pathology expert in Canada, or perhaps refer me to one directly so that I can get further assistance from them. At the autopsy, a blood clot was found attached to the vein of the right thigh. The vein was described as 'recanalized'. Can you please tell me what 'recanalized' means? And would the fact that the vein was recanalized mean that the thrombophlebitis was present for a while before her death? Also, are cancer patients at high risk for blood clots? Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 2 hours later
Brief Answer: 'recanalized' explained Detailed Answer: Hello, There are several anatomic pathology experts in Canada. You could look for one at your convenience at this link. You can change the location and look for the specialist accordingly. Personally, I have no reference there. Sorry about that. The vein was described as 'recanalized' - means to say that the deep vein thrombosis was removed or dissolved and the vein was once again made patent. But, this can happen only after a surgery for the DVT. Was any surgery done to recanalize the vein in your mother? Without any medical intervention, recanalization of the vein usually does not happen. The fact that vein was recanalized means that the clot was dissolved. However, this rarely happens on its own without medical intervention. No, cancer patients are generally not at high risk for blood clots unless there are other contributing factors for the same. Hope this helps you. Regards,
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