Diagnosing deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

DVT affects 1 in 1000 patients, and is a huge burden on all front-line physicians, both in emergency departments and in primary care.1 It is found in 10–25% of patients in whom it is suspected.

The diagnosis of proximal DVT is key in preventing pulmonary embolism and post-thrombotic syndrome.

Focused ultrasound is performed using 3-point compression in those areas of highest turbulence and at greatest risk of developing thrombus:

  1. Common femoral vein at the saphenous vein
  2. Proximal deep and superficial femoral veins
  3. Popliteal veins

A recent meta-analysis of 16 studies of emergency physician-performed ultrasonography in the diagnosis of DVT has shown a weighted mean sensitivity of 96% and weighted mean specificity of 97%.2

CPD Module - 1 CPD hour

Scanning for Deep Vein Thrombosis

This module includes a key questions podcast and demonstration video covering the essentials needed to carry out point-of-care scanning for suspected deep vein thrombosis.


Workshop webcasts

The deep vein thrombosis 3-point ultrasound scan: why is it performed, and how do we do it?

Dr Paramjeet Deol, Consultant Emergency Physician at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London







References:
1. Birdwell BG, et al. Ann Intern Med 1998;128:1-7. 2. Pomero F, et al. Thromb Haemost 2013;109:137-45