Introduction: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common cause of admission to the emergency departments (ED). Doppler ultrasonography of the entire lower limb is the first-line imaging modality. But most EDs do not access to full-time radiologists which can lead to delayed diagnosis.
Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of three-point compression ultrasonography performed by emergency medicine resident for diagnosis of DVT.
Methods: This prospective diagnostic study was carried out at Imam Khomeini Hospital in Sari from March 2018 to November 2018. For all patients with suspected lower extremity DVT, first bedside 3-point compression ultrasound were performed by a third year emergency medicine resident at ED. Then Doppler ultrasonography were performed by a radiologist in the radiology department, as a reference test. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of the three-point compression ultrasound performed by emergency medicine resident was calculated.
Results: Of the 72 patients enrolled in our study, 50% of the patients were male, with an average age of 36±19 years. The mean of patient admission time to perform ultrasonography by an emergency medicine resident and radiologist were 14.05±19 and 216±140.1 minutes, respectively. The two groups had a statistically significant difference (P<0.0001). In ultrasonography performed by emergency medicine resident and doper ultrasonography by radiologist, 91.67% and 36.1% of patients were diagnosed with DVT, respectively. Although the ultrasonography performed by emergency medicine resident has a relatively low sensitivity (53.8%), it has a good specificity (85.7%). The positive and negative predictive value was 70 and 75%, respectively.
Conclusion: Although the results of this study indicate insufficient sensitivity of bedside three-point compression ultrasound performed by emergency medicine resident in diagnosis of lower limb DVT, the specificity, positive and negative predictive values and positive likelihood ratio were almost appropriate.
Keywords: Emergency medicine; Ultrasonography; Venous thrombosis; sensitivity and Specificity.