CT for thromboembolic disease

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2003 May-Jun;32(3):105-26. doi: 10.1016/s0363-0188(02)00006-3.


Pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep venous thrombosis (DVT) constitute the two clinical manifestations of venous thromboembolic disease (VTE). The recent innovation of computed tomography venography (CTV) in conjunction with CT pulmonary arteriography (CTPA) provides a single noninvasive diagnostic test that can evaluate both components of VTE. PE is often an underestimated, underdiagnosed, and, consequently, undertreated disease entity. Herein, we review the epidemiology of thromboembolic disease, the diagnostic algorithm used in evaluation of patients with suspected VTE, and protocols for performing CTPA and CTV. Interpretation of these examinations is discussed in detail, because CTPA may pose new challenges to the practicing radiologist.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Phlebography / methods
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnosis*
  • Venous Thrombosis / epidemiology