Puerperal pelvic thrombophlebitis: Impact on diagnosis and treatment using x-ray computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging

C. E L Brown, T. W. Lowe, F. G. Cunningham, J. C. Weinreb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


The clinical diagnosis of puerperal pelvic thrombophlebitis was confirmed by x-ray computed tomography in 11 women, and further documented in six by magnetic resonance imaging. Venous thrombi were demonstrated in ovarian, iliofemoral, and inferior vena caval vessels. In six women with ovarian vein involvement and no evidence of iliofemoral thrombophlebitis, resolution followed intravenous antimicrobial therapy alone, and in three of these, resolution was confirmed by x-ray tomography. In contrast, three of five women with symptomatic iliofemoral thrombophlebitis had a prolonged febrile course despite antimicrobial and heparin therapy. The clinical courses of these 11 women were consistent with the observation that pelvic thrombophlebitis is associated with pelvic infection. Disease manifested within a few days after parturition was more likely due to ovarian vein involvement, whereas disease with later onset of symptoms was more likely due to iliofemoral thrombosis, with or without vena caval extension. Through the use of x-ray computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, the natural course of pelvic thrombophlebitis can be better elucidated and therapeutic regimens more clearly evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-794
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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