The Association of Septic Thrombophlebitis with Septic Pulmonary Embolism in Adults

Jorge A Brenes*, 1, Umesh Goswami 1, David N Williams 2
1 Department of Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, MN 55415, USA
2 Division of Infectious Diseases, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, MN 55415, USA

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© Brenes et al.; LicenseeBentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Hennepin County Medical Center, 701 Park Avenue. Minneapolis, MN 55415, USA; Tel: 612-205-4158; Fax: 612-904-4226; E-mail:



There have been an increasing number of pediatric reports of septic pulmonary embolism in the setting of septic thrombophlebitis adjacent to a primary infectious source.


Retrospective review at an urban hospital. A total of five adults with a documented primary infectious source, adjacent septic thrombophlebitis and septic pulmonary embolism were identified between 2000 and 2011.


The predominant symptoms on presentation were fever and pleuritic chest pain, followed by chills and cough. S. aureus was the pathogen in 4 patients. Only one case had echocardiographic evidence of endocarditis. All patients received IV antibiotics and anticoagulation therapy. No new embolic events or central nervous system complications were noted.


The triad of extrapulmonary infection, contiguous septic thrombophlebitis and septic pulmonary embolism is present in adult as well as pediatric populations. The use of systemic anticoagulation with appropriate antibiotics resulted in clinical and radiologic improvement but no significant complications.

Keywords: Septic thrombophlebitis, septic pulmonary emboli, anticoagulation..