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Vasc Med. 2010 Oct;15(5):399-406. doi: 10.1177/1358863X10378788.

Diagnosis of venous thromboembolism: an update.

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1
Division of Angiology and Hemostasis, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospitals of Geneva and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland. henri.bounameaux@unige.ch

Abstract

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) cannot be diagnosed solely on a clinical basis owing to the lack of sensitivity and specificity of clinical signs and symptoms. Phlebography and pulmonary angiography are invasive and resource-demanding imaging modalities. Because the prevalence of DVT and PE is relatively low (typically 20% or less) among clinically suspected individuals, submitting all of them to imaging would not be cost-effective. Therefore, non-invasive diagnostic algorithms have been developed that include clinical probability assessment and D-dimer measurement. These initial steps allow the selection of patients who require non-invasive imaging: compression ultrasonography in cases of suspected DVT and multidetector computed tomography (CT) angiography in cases of suspected PE. This review gives a critical appraisal of the sequential steps of the diagnostic work-up in suspected DVT or PE.

PMID:
20926499
DOI:
10.1177/1358863X10378788
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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