Purpose: To determine the frequency and location of deep venous thrombosis at computed tomographic (CT) venography after CT pulmonary angiography in a large series of patients clinically suspected of having pulmonary embolism and to compare the accuracy of CT venography with lower-extremity venous sonography.
Materials and methods: Venous phase images were acquired from the diaphragm to the upper calves after completion of CT pulmonary angiography in 650 patients (373 women, 277 men; age range, 18-99 years; mean age, 63 years) to determine the presence and location of deep venous thrombosis. Results of CT venography were compared with those of bilateral lower-extremity venous sonography in 308 patients.
Results: A total of 116 patients had pulmonary embolism and/or deep venous thrombosis, including 27 patients with pulmonary embolism alone, 31 patients with deep venous thrombosis alone, and 58 patients with both. Among 89 patients with deep venous thrombosis, thrombosis was bilateral in 26, involved the abdominal or pelvic veins in 11, and was isolated to the abdominal or pelvic veins in four. In patients in whom sonographic correlation was available, CT venography had a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 100% for femoropopliteal deep venous thrombosis.
Conclusion: Combined CT venography and pulmonary angiography can accurately depict the femoropopliteal deep veins, permitting concurrent testing for venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. CT venography also defines pelvic or abdominal thrombus, which was seen in 17% of patients with deep venous thrombosis.