Real-time ultrasound for diagnosis of symptomatic venous thrombosis and for screening of patients at risk: correlation with ascending conventional venography

Angiology. 1989 Jun;40(6):527-33. doi: 10.1177/000331978904000603.


This is a prospective study of 108 patients in two distinct groups undergoing real-time ultrasonography (US) and ascending conventional venography within the same day. The two patient groups consisted of the following: Those patients evaluated because of suspicion of deep venous thrombosis of lower limbs (69 patients) and those at high risk for venous thrombosis (19 patients with a recent hip fracture, 20 with a suspected pulmonary embolism). In the diagnosis group 48 patients had venographic evidence of thrombosis. The predictive value of abnormal findings from real-time US was 97%, and that of a negative study was 75%. Thus, real-time US may have a role as a diagnostic procedure, to be followed by x-ray venography in patients with negative US results. By contrast, real-time US is far less sensitive as a screening test in patients without clinical evidence of thrombosis. Only 3 of 9 patients with thrombosis were detected, with a 50% sensitivity for proximal vein thrombosis. Therefore, the use of real-time US for screening high-risk patients must be limited to very high risk patients in whom other tests are ineffective (as in hip surgery).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phlebography*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Thrombophlebitis / diagnosis*
  • Thrombophlebitis / prevention & control*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*