May-Thurner Syndrome: How Rare It Is and Other Things You Need to Know

May-Thurner SyndromeIt wasn’t until 1957 that doctors found out about the May-Thurner Syndrome (MTS). It is a condition that involves compressed vein walls, increasing the risk of major blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Before that year, almost all cases of dangerous blood clots were classified as DVT. But researchers delved into a much deeper study when they noticed that a number of DVT patients suffered pain, swelling, and blood clots only on their left lower extremities.

Rare Condition

Only about two to five percent of patients with DVT and other vein disorders have May-Thurner Syndrome. Many researchers relate this disease to a congenital condition involving abnormalities in the left common iliac vein and the right common iliac artery. This condition may also develop due to a trauma on that specific vein and artery, and the likelihood that it’ll progress increases with a number of factors, such as extreme weight gain and age.

Silent Symptoms

Apart from being rare, May-Thurner Syndrome has silent symptoms. Many patients do not realize they have MTS until an apparent sign, such as a major blood clot or DVT, occurs. The dangerous clot usually comes with increased warmth, extreme swelling and pain, and enlargement of the veins in the left leg. In some cases, MTS may cause pulmonary embolisms, which transpire when a huge clot breaks away and gets stuck in the lungs. The symptoms of pulmonary embolisms include rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and coughing with blood.

Unfortunately, there’s no available direct cure for this condition. The only thing that doctors can do to help MST patients is to manage the symptoms and risks. They administer blood thinners, perform surgical removal of a clot, and venous stenting to address the dangerous blood clot on the left leg. If there’s pulmonary embolisms, thrombolytic medicines or invasive surgery may be necessary.