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March 1982

Mechanical Plethysmography and Doppler Ultrasound: Diagnosis of Deep-Venous Thrombosis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Waterbury Hospital Health Center, Waterbury, Conn. Dr Schroeder is now in private practice.

Arch Surg. 1982;117(3):300-303. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1982.01380270028006

• Two hundred eighty-one patients were available for follow-up after undergoing bilateral lower-extremity venous laboratory evaluations for possible deep-venous thrombosis. Because of a recognized difficulty with such a clinical diagnosis, the use of Doppler ultrasound and mechanical plethysmography with airfilled cuffs was carefully studied. Eighty-three of the 281 patients had confirmatory results from venography or fibrinogen scan of the symptomatic or more-symptomatic leg, and these 83 patients were used to determine accuracy. The complete evaluation as performed was accurate in 70% of the patients with suspected deep-venous thrombosis. The Doppler examination alone was accurate in 71% of the patients, and the maximum venous outflow measurement was accurate in 67% of the patients. This study indicates a continuing need for venography or fibrinogen scanning for the diagnosis of deep-venous thrombosis.

(Arch Surg 1982;117:300-303)