ST. LOUIS - According to the American Heart Association, up to 2 million Americans are affected by Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) annually, yet up to 74 percent of people don’t know what the condition is. March is National Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month and physicians across the country are working to raise awareness about the condition which causes an estimated 300,000 deaths annually.

Dr. Raffi Krikorian, a local physician with more than 25 years of experience treating venous and cardiovascular conditions throughout Missouri and Illinois, said DVT happens when a vein that is deep inside of the body is obstructed by a blood clot. DVT is ordinarily found in the leg, typically in the calf muscle, but can be found anywhere in the body. Symptoms of DVT can include swelling, pain, discoloration and abnormally hot skin at the affected area, however these symptoms can also mimic a muscle strain and makes the diagnosis more challenging.

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“Unfortunately, nearly half of all DVT cases have minimal, if any symptoms, which is why it is important to not self-diagnosis without consulting a physician, especially if you aren’t sure what caused the injury or if the pain persists more than a few days,” said Dr. Krikorian. “Additionally, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of DVT cases. It’s too early to determine if that is a direct result of the virus or if we are simply doing more ultrasounds on people and catching additional DVT cases as a result. Either way, it makes the importance of raising awareness about this condition more important than ever.”

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Dr. Krikorian said the most accurate way to diagnose DVT is through venous ultrasounds and depending on the severity of the condition, it can be treated with blood thinners or surgery. If left untreated, DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism, which is caused when the blood clot travels through the veins and blocks one of the major veins in the lungs.

Dr. Krikorian said those who are most at risk are people with a prior history of DVT, obesity, stroke, pregnancy and those who are confined to long periods of immobility due to travel, major surgery or bed rest. For more information about DVT, go to

Comprehensive Cardiovascular Consultants, also known as St. Louis Vein and Endovascular, specializes in offering its patients cutting-edge solutions to their unique vein problems. Dr. Raffi Krikorian is one of only a few board-certified cardiologists to also practice in vascular, venous and lymphatic health. Comprehensive Cardiovascular Consultants has six locations throughout Southwest Missouri and Illinois, including its flagship location at 3760 South Lindberg Blvd, Suite 101 in St. Louis. For more information, go to or call 314-849-0923.

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