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Ovarian vein thrombosis in the postnatal period
  1. Louise Dunphy1 and
  2. Aie Wei Tang2
  1. 1Surgery, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Reading, UK
  2. 2Obstetrics, Liverpool Women's Hospital, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Louise Dunphy; Louise.Dunphy{at}


Although ovarian vein thrombosis (OVT) is classically considered a puerperal pathology, it can also occur in nonpuerperal settings such as endometritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, Crohn’s disease, pelvic or gynaecological surgeries and thrombophilia. Hypercoagulation conditions such as antiphospholipid syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, factor V Leiden and protein C and S deficiency are all recognised risk factors. It is also a known complication during pregnancy often presenting with fever and lower abdominal pain within weeks after delivery. Its incidence is exceedingly rare, occurring in 0.05% of all pregnancies that result in live births and peaking around 2–6 days after delivery. Its preferential involvement of the right ovarian vein may be explained by the compression of the inferior vena cava and the right ovarian vein due to dextrorotation of the uterus during pregnancy. Furthermore, antegrade flow of blood and multiple incompetent valves in the right ovarian vein favours bacterial infection. Complications may include sepsis and thrombus extension to the inferior vena cava or left renal vein and rarely, pulmonary embolism. The authors present the case of a 27-year-old woman with lower abdominal pain 5 weeks after an elective caesarean section. Although the diagnosis of postpartum endometritis was initially considered, a CT suggested a right OVT. She commenced treatment with low-molecular weight heparin. A high index of clinical suspicion is required in order to establish the diagnosis of this rare cause of abdominal pain, which can mimic an acute abdomen.

  • obstetrics and gynaecology
  • emergency medicine

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  • Contributors LD: wrote the case report. AWT: edited the case report.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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