Duplex ultrasonographic findings in patients with suspected DVT

O A Olowoyeye, G O G Awosanya, K O Soyebi
Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal 2010, 17 (2): 128-32

OBJECTIVES: To highlight the usefulness of duplex ultrasonography in assessing patients with clinical features suggestive of DVT in this environment.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of seventy patients (44 males and 26 females, aged 15-85 years) with a clinical diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) were seen between September 2005 and September 2007 in the Radiodiagnosis Department of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, and a private Multi-specialist hospital both in Lagos, Nigeria. They had bilateral lower extremity venous duplex ultrasonographic examination performed on them. The common femoral vein, superficial femoral vein, proximal deep femoral vein, proximal greater saphenous vein, popliteal vein and posterior tibial veins were evaluated with compression sonography in the transverse plane. Grey scale, colour and pulsed Doppler imaging of the venous segments were observed.

RESULTS: The sonographic abnormalities observed included frozen valves, venous reflux, venous dilatation with echogenic thrombus, absence of Doppler signals and narrowed, thick walled veins. It was observed that 30 (42.3%) patients had acute DVT, 11 (15.7%) had chronic venous disease (CVD), while 10 (14.3%) had incompetence of the superficial venous system. Acute DVT was the commonest pathology observed.

CONCLUSION: Duplex ultrasonography should be performed on all patients with a clinical diagnosis of DVT in order to rule out other differential diagnoses.

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