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February 14, 1996

Superficial Femoral Vein Thrombosis: A Potentially Confusing Term

Author Affiliations

Ochsner Clinic New Orleans, La

JAMA. 1996;275(6):445. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530300028028

To the Editor.  —Dr Bundens and colleagues1 report that the possibility of error in interpretation of venous duplex reports that use the term "superficial femoral vein" may result in improper treatment for patients. However, Bundens et al fail to discuss the responsibility that most radiologists who staff vascular laboratories feel regarding contacting referring physicians when significant abnormalities are detected on venous ultrasound. It is common practice to contact the referring physician and describe the significance of the acute venous thrombosis process when it is noted. As a result, it would be rather unusual for the referring physician to be unaware of the significance of an acute thrombosis involving the superficial femoral vein. While I have no objection to using a new name for this vein to avoid confusion, I do not think changing the name of the vein changes the responsibility of those physicians interpreting this examination to make