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South Med J. 1997 Dec;90(12):1244-7.

Thrombosis of the deep femoral vein: a potential pitfall of color flow duplex Doppler ultrasonography.

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  • 1Russel H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md 21287, USA.


This case illustrates a potential pitfall of color flow duplex Doppler ultrasonography with compression in the evaluation of suspected deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Because of its low cost, accuracy, and noninvasiveness, ultrasonography is the appropriate first choice in the evaluation of suspected DVT, but there does exist the possibility of a false-negative examination. Magnetic resonance venography (MRV) should be reserved for cases in which there is a high clinical suspicion for DVT, as well as either morbid obesity that would limit the evaluation of deep pelvic and deep femoral veins or conflicting results of other imaging studies. All cases of suspected thrombosis, including those not adequately evaluated by ultrasonography, can be accurately assessed by MRV, which is not as invasive as standard venography.

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