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Clin Imaging. 2004 Nov-Dec;28(6):439-44.

Deep venous thrombosis: comparison of indirect multidetector CT venography and sonography of lower extremities in 26 patients.

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Department of Radiology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taiwan, ROC.



To compare the accuracy of indirect mutidetector row computed tomographic (MDCT) venography with lower extremity venous sonography for the diagnosis of femoropopliteal deep venous thrombosis (DVT), and to determine the frequency and location of DVT at MDCT venography.


Twenty-six consecutive patients suspected of having pulmonary embolism (PE) underwent both combined MDCT venography and MDCT pulmonary angiography and lower extremity venous sonography. Indirect MDCT venography was acquired from the upper calves to the mid-abdomen following MDCT pulmonary angiography. The CT venographic findings were compared with those of sonography for the diagnosis of femoropopliteal DVT. All CT scans were also reviewed for the frequency and location of DVT.


Indirect MDCT venography disclosed DVT in 19 patients, and 12 of whom also had PE. Seventeen patients with thrombosis in the femoropopliteal veins were identified in both indirect MDCT venography and sonography. The sensitivity and specificity of indirect MDCT venography for femoropopliteal DVT, as compared with sonography, were both 100%. In one patient DVT in the superficial femoral vein was detected using only indirect MDCT venography. MDCT venography also showed superior extension of femoropopliteal DVT to the inferior vena cava and iliac veins in four patients and thrombosis isolated to the inferior vena cava and common iliac vein thrombosis in one patient.


Indirect MDCT venography is as accurate as sonography in the diagnosis of femoropopliteal DVT. MDCT venography can further reveal thrombus in large pelvis veins and the inferior vena cava, an important advantage over sonographic screening for DVT.

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