What is Trousseau sign?
Trousseau sign consists of superficial migratory thrombophlebitis associated with an underlying malignancy. Clinically it presents as erythematous linear cords that affect the superficial veins of the extremities and trunk. Patients typically continue to develop new lesions at multiple sites that may appear to migrate . Trousseau sign may be seen in association with many types of GI malignancies (e.g., gastric carcinoma, pancreatic adenocarcinoma) in addition to lung carcinoma, multiple myeloma, and Hodgkin’s disease. The pathogenesis is not understood and the thrombophlebitis is notoriously resistant to anticoagulant therapy. It was a cruel coincidence that the physician who described this sign, Dr. Trousseau, was himself to develop Trousseau sign secondary to his underlying gastric carcinoma, which was ultimately fatal.