MOUNTING interest in peripheral vascular diseases is evident from the large volume of literature on this subject in textbooks and current surgical journals. However, one type of structural vascular disease infrequently discussed is migrating phlebitis.
This type of phlebitis is a primary inflammatory lesion of a venous segment with secondary vasomotor disturbances. Characteristically, it involves a segment of vein and subsides in the original area only to appear in another segment of vein in the same or opposite leg. Because of this tendency it is my preference to term this entity migratory polyphlebitis.
Polyphlebitis of this type usually involves the surface veins of the legs. However, it may occur in the deeper veins. The upper extremities may become the site of this disease as well as the lower extremities. I have seen vessels of the anterior part of the abdominal wall involved with this process.
Migratory polyphlebitis when not