Skip to main content

01.12.2011 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2011 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2011

Traumatic funicular phlebitis of the thoracic wall resembling Mondor's disease: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2011
Takeshi Kondo
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-5-127) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The author declares that he has no competing interests.


Mondor's disease is a peculiar form of superficial thrombophlebitis, first reported in 1939 [ 1] as a thrombophlebitis involving a superficial vein in the subcutaneous fat of the breast or anterior chest wall, especially in women [ 2]. Classic Mondor's disease involves the lateral thoracic, thoracoepigastric, or superior epigastric veins [ 3]. It usually occurs as a sudden, subcutaneous tender, painless, cord-like swelling of the vein [ 2]. The process is usually unilateral, but very rarely bilateral manifestations have been found. The histologic changes are limited to a "subcutaneous vein showing thrombosis and organisation" [ 4]. This article will describe a case which can be called traumatic funicular phlebitis.

Case presentation

A 35-year-old Japanese man, working for a pathological laboratory, noticed tenderness in his right lower lateral thoracic wall and a palpable cord-like lesion extending from the painful point (on the right seventh rib) to the axillar fossa. Physical examination revealed the presence of a curvilinear subcutaneous cord-like induration in the right lateral chest wall. The lesion was approximately 15 cm long, originating from the painful position (on the right seventh rib) with rather old subcutaneous hemorrhage to the axillar fossa (Figure 1). The old subcutaneous hemorrhage suggested the traumatic origin, although the patient did not remember the traumatic event. Based on the color, consistency and shape of the hemorrhage (or ecchymosis), the possible traumatic event had occurred two or three weeks before. The funicular lesion anatomically corresponded to the right thoracodorsal vein. The overlying skin was freely mobile, and did not show any inflammatory signs. No other symptoms were reported. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) did not detect any lesion corresponding to the subcutaneous cord-like lesion (Figure 2).
Based on the above findings, the lesion was diagnosed as traumatic funicular phlebitis (resembling Mondor's disease) of the right thoracodorsal vein.
The lesion spontaneously regressed for approximately three weeks and, on follow-up, there have been no signs of recurrence for months.


The exact cause of Mondor's disease is still unclear, and its etiopathogenesis has been controversial. Various authors have associated the disease with local trauma, including biopsy or surgery, and muscular strain. Inflammatory and infectious agents have also been considered as etiologic factors [ 3, 4]. Furthermore, Mondor's disease may herald an occult breast cancer [ 5]. Mondor's disease can be called Mondor's vasculitis (phlebitis or lymphangitis) [ 6], and this case can be called traumatic funicular phlebitis showing "Mondor-like" symptoms. This case can be called Mondor's disease, but the traumatic cause is not clear, so this lesion should be considered as a new entity: traumatic funicular phlebitis (TFP).
Although in this case a pathological specimen was not available, the lesion was clinically considered as phlebitis of the right thoracodorsal vein caused by a local trauma.
Penile Mondor's disease is a variant outside the thoracic area (or a different clinical entity) and its pathogenesis is better understood than that of classical Mondor's disease [ 7]. Although penile Mondor's disease may be a totally different clinical entity, pulsed and color Doppler sonographic findings and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) findings of penile Mondor's disease have been reported [ 7, 8]. In this case, an MRA was not available. MRI imaging detected no lesion, suggesting the lesion was at the healing stage. Histologically, in the healing stage, connective tissue proliferation took place in the vessel, resulting in the formation of a hard cord. Thus the lesion was indistinguishable from the surrounding tissue, although it was palpable.


In conclusion, traumatic funicular phlebitis, resembling Mondor's disease, is a clinical entity, which may give suggestive insight to the etiology of Mondor's disease itself.


Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal.


I thank Dr. Kenta Kishimoto at Kobe University Hospital for scientific and helpful discussion. I am also grateful to Itaru Kondo and Hiroko Maeda-Kondo for fruitful discussion.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​2.​0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Competing interests

The author declares that he has no competing interests.

Unsere Produktempfehlungen

e.Med Interdisziplinär


Für Ihren Erfolg in Klinik und Praxis - Die beste Hilfe in Ihrem Arbeitsalltag als Mediziner

Mit e.Med Interdisziplinär erhalten Sie Zugang zu allen CME-Fortbildungen und Fachzeitschriften auf

e.Med Allgemeinmedizin


Mit e.Med Allgemeinmedizin erhalten Sie Zugang zu allen CME-Fortbildungen und Premium-Inhalten der allgemeinmedizinischen Zeitschriften, inklusive einer gedruckten Allgemeinmedizin-Zeitschrift Ihrer Wahl.

Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2011

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2011 Zur Ausgabe