Comparison of diagnostic value of conventional ultrasonography by emergency physicians with Doppler ultrasonography by radiology physicians for diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis

Saeed Abbasi, Ehsan Bolverdi, Mohammad Amin Zare, Peyman Hafezimoghadam, Marzieh Fathi, Davood Farsi, Mehrdad Moghimi
JPMA. the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association 2012, 62 (5): 461-5

OBJECTIVES: To determine sensitivity, specificity and other operating characteristics of bedside three-point compression ultrasonography performed in emergency department by emergency physicians in comparison with duplex ultrasonography.

METHODS: The cross-sectional study at Rasoul-e-Akram Hospital in Tehran, Iran, prospectively evaluated 81 suspected patients of lower extremity deep vein thrombosis between March 2006 and March 2007. A trained second-year resident and one attending physician of emergency medicine evaluated the veins of all the patients with through compression ultrasonography. Then, a second-year resident of radiology assessed the patients with duplex ultrasonography. Finally, data were compared and quantitative and categorical variables were worked out along with other statistical analysis through SPSS version 16.

RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 47.2 +/- 18.6 years. When cases who lost the compressibility of at least one of their femoral or popliteal veins were considered to be positive, there were 80.2% diagnosed by compression ultrasonography and 79% by the duplex variety. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the former in comparison with the latter were 85.9%, 41.2% and 84.6% respectively.

CONCLUSION: Compression ultrasonography has relatively an acceptable sensitivity and accuracy level, but has low specificity in the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis in the hands of Iranian emergency physicians. It is better to implement duplex ultrasonography whenever accessible. Otherwise, compression ultrasonography results should be compared with the results of duplex ultrasonography as soon as possible.

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