Objective: to determine whether a negative single complete ultrasound (US) of the lower limbs veins is a safe and accurate diagnostic method to rule out deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in pregnancy.
Material and methods: We performed a prospective study on 87 consecutive pregnant women with clinical suspicion of DVT in "Dr. D. Popescu" Maternity, Timişoara, between January 2007 and December 2009. All cases were investigated by color duplex ultrasound. Those who were negative but with high clinical probability of DVT underwent MR venography, the rest with negative US findings did not received anticoagulant therapy and US was repeated after seven days. All were instructed about the signs and symptoms of DVT and asked to return at six weeks postpartum when they were questioned if presented any.
Results: from the 87 women 30 (34.48%) were found positive and two (2.29%) had a high clinical suspicion of DVT. 55 (63.21%) with negative findings repeated the US exam after 7 days which remained negative. Only 43 (78.18%) returned for the 6 weeks postpartum visit and none of them experienced any thromboembolic event during follow-up.
Conclusions: A single complete color duplex ultrasonography of lower limbs veins appears to be a safe method to rule out the diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis in pregnant women and if negative is safe to withhold heparin therapy.