Peripheral arterial thrombosis related to commercial airline flights: another manifestation of the economy class syndrome

Br J Clin Pract. Autumn 1992;46(3):165-6.


Venous thromboembolism is a well recognised complication of air travel, particularly on long haul flights. This has been attributed to relative immobility in cramped surroundings and to dehydration secondary to alcohol consumption and low cabin humidity. Under these conditions thrombosis at other sites would be expected, and indeed myocardial ischaemia is the commonest emergency in commercial flights. Peripheral arterial thrombosis, however, is not reported, even in comprehensive reviews of flying related medical emergencies. We report on three patients who developed acute lower limb ischaemia following long haul air flights.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aerospace Medicine
  • Aged
  • Aircraft*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Leg / blood supply
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thromboembolism / etiology*
  • Travel*