May–Thurner Syndrome

May–Thurner Syndrome
Unilateral oedematous swelling of left lower limb.
  • May-Thurner Syndrome is an overlooked cause of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Similarly, the clinical prevalence is likely underestimated.
  • The condition is more prevalent in females aged between 20–50 years.
  • This case describes MTS-related extensive iliofemoral DVT occurring in a middle age male.

A 63-year-old Chinese patient presented with progressive left lower limb swelling and pain with a history of 4 days. There was no trauma history. This was the first time he was experiencing these symptoms. His past medial history was remarkable of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia. He was not on any long-term medications for the comorbidities. He had no family history of DVT. In addition, he also hadn’t been on any long haul flights recently. Neither did he have a history of immobilisation. He was working 10-hour shifts as a private care hire driver. And had no history of smoking. The findings were consistent with the diagnosis of “May–Thurner Syndrome”.

Examination and diagnosis

On presentation the patient was afebrile and appeared comfortable with normal vitals and oxygen saturation. In addition, there were no significant findings on cardiovascular and respiratory examinations. The patient’s lower left limb was warm and mildly tender with a 4 cm swelling up to the mid thigh. However, there were no signs of stasis dermatitis, varicosities, or phlegmasia cerulean or alba dolens. Moreover, his peripheral distal pulse was palpable.

Lab work including full blood count, renal panel and coagulation profile were all normal. Fasting glucose was negative for diabetes. ECG showed sinus rhythm with no heart strain. Doppler compression ultrasound of the left lower limb showed partial DVT that extended from the external iliac (EIV) and common femoral (CFV) to the popliteal veins. Doctors advised a contrasted CT of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis in view of the aggressive nature of the thrombosis. It ruled out an intrabdominal pathology. In addition, to look for pulmonary complications in the same setting. CT showed compression of the left common iliac vein (CIV). There was no filling defect in the IVC. However, the right upper lobe and lower lobe pulmonary arterial lobar/segmental branches were remarkable for filling defects.

The findings ruled out a pelvic mass and were suggestive of May-Thurner syndrome.


Initial treatment included LMWH enoxaparin. Doctors advised left lower limb AngioJet pharmacomechanical thrombolysis/thrombectomy with iliac vein stenting and insertion of a temporary inferior vena cava (IVC) filter. The patient showed significant improvement in symptoms after the procedure. The swelling and pain in his left lower limb also improved. His was given an oral Factor Xa. After a month of discharging the patient, he remained well. Repeat ultrasound showed stent patency. Therefore, he was advised an elective IVC filter retrieval. The procedure was uneventful. His next follow-up was for a year later.


May–Thurner Syndrome: A Consideration for Deep Vein Thrombosis in Males

Previous articleHydatid Cyst In The Brain
Next articleRare Manifestations Of Dengue Fever
Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here