Chronic venous occlusion is a potential complication of chronic or frequent venous catheter (central line, PICC, tunneled central line, port) and can also be caused by chronic vein compression (syndrome or mass).

Signs and symptoms

Chronic venous occlusion has the same symptoms as post-thrombotic syndrome. Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms. Other symptoms include pins and needles, heaviness, tightness, tired limb, skin redness, limited endurance, visible veins on the skin, and rarely skin ulcers. Recurring blood clots, inability to place venous access and loss of available veins are additional signs that can be present.


Imaging (CT, MRI, venography, US, IVUS) is performed to determine the location and extent of the affected veins.


Anticoagulation (blood thinners) is used when there is recurrent clot formation. Recanalization of the occluded vein can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of chronic venous occlusion.

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