SUPERFICIAL thrombophlebitis is now managed by a wide variety of treatment programs, including surgery, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, "antisludging" drugs, thrombolytic therapy, or physical measures without drug therapy. The fact that satisfactory results are claimed for all of these methods suggests that the disease is usually benign, that is, it improves spontaneously. It also reminds us of the deficiency in our understanding about pathophysiology in thrombophlebitis. This is, of course, true about all of the thrombotic conditions; this deficiency contributes to inaccurate diagnosis and difficulty in evaluating treatment. When etiology is considered, a classical triad of factors is usually mentioned: stasis or turbulence, a "vascular" factor, and some factor in the blood. Attempts have been made to measure these factors. Tests performed on the blood have received the most attention, but there is disagreement over whether a factor in the blood has been measured at all.
In this laboratory, a number of