Deep venous thrombosis of the lower limb in young ambulant ghanaians

Ghana Med J. 2007 Mar;41(1):17-20.


Summary background: Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) usually affects patients who are over 40 years old, obese, bed ridden or have had major operations or have hypercoagulable states. Healthy and ambulant young people are usually not affected.

Objectives: To report the observation of DVT in young patients below the age of 40 years

Methods: A study of all healthy and ambulatory patients below the age of forty years with a diagnosis of DVT seen on one surgical unit at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra was performed from 1(st) January 2000 to 30(th) June 2003.

Results: Eleven patients, eight (8) females and three (3) males aged between 20 and 40 years with a median age of 32 years were treated. All the patients had deep venous thrombosis of the lower limb confirmed with Doppler studies and duplex scan of the lower limb. Swollen lower limb was the commonest presenting symptom and sign. Prolonged sitting was the main factor in 9 out of eleven patients.

Conclusions: Deep venous thrombosis may not be a rare condition in the young ambulant Ghanaian and may be related mainly to a sedentary life style. Diagnosis should be suspected in patients who present with unilateral swollen and oedematous leg. There is the need to study the ailment in greater detail.