The Deep Venous Thrombosis: Ultrasound Findings and Differential Diagnoses

Echocolor Doppler is the current first-line tool for diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the lower limbs because of its high sensitivity and specificity (when used by experienced sonographers) and because it is a non-invasive, inexpensive, repeatable test.
It is useful to distinguish:

  1. between the proximal DVT and the isolated distal DVT (infra-popliteal deep veins alone). This distinction is important as embolic complications of clinical relevance occur mainly in proximal DVT.
  2. between the anterograde DVT (centripetal extension) and the more rare retrograde DVT (centrifugal extension). This distinction may be important for diagnostic/therapeutic implications (the most frequent causes of the retrograde DVT are compressions, such as from neoplasm).

The ultrasound diagnosis is also important in patients with suspected DVT recurrence and in patients with conditions that mimic DVT.

In this lesson the echo-color-Doppler ultrasound findings in the proximal and distal DVT and in the suspected DVT recurrence will be presented.

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