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Ann Afr Med. 2020 Jan-Mar;19(1):8-14. doi: 10.4103/aam.aam_62_18.

Doppler ultrasonographic evaluation of lower limbs deep-vein thrombosis in a teaching hospital, Northwestern Nigeria.

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Department of Radiology, Ahmadu Bello University/Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria.
Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University/Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria.


in English, French


Deep-venous thrombosis (DVT) of lower limbs is one of the most common causes of death caused by pulmonary embolism. Many medical and surgical disorders are complicated by DVT. B-mode and color Doppler imaging are needed for the early diagnosis of DVT to prevent complications and sequalae of DVT.


The objectives of this study are to evaluate the role of Doppler ultrasound in diagnosing DVT of lower limbs and to study the spectrum of findings in patients with DVT in Zaria.


A retrospective study was carried out on patients who had Venous Doppler Scan in the Department of Radiology ABUTH, Zaria, Nigeria, for suspected DVT over a period of 4 years from February 2014 to January 2018. Scans were done using DC-3 and DC-6 Mindray Ultrasound machines (2009 and 2013 Models, respectively, Shantou, China) coupled with high-frequency (7.5-12 MHz) linear and low-frequency curvilinear (2-5 MHz) transducers. Analysis of cases of DVT was performed in terms of age, sex, clinical features, predisposing conditions, anatomic distribution, stage, and pattern of thrombus involvement in the veins. Data were analyzed using the SPSS version 20.0 and value of P < 0.005 was considered as statistically significant.


A total of 252 patients' results were reviewed which consisted of 122 males (48.4%) and 130 females (51.6%). The patients' ages ranged from 11 to 80 years, averaging 45.5 ± 9.56 years. The most common indication for Doppler request was leg swellings. The most common risk factor for DVT was malignancy (36%), cardiac disorders (18%), and traumas (14%). Sixty-six (61%) cases showed left-sided and 26 (24%) right-sided, whereas 16 (15%) cases showed bilateral lower limb involvement. Predominant thrombus was above-knee region with 54% in the superficial femoral vein. Chronic stage was seen in 46 (42%) cases, subacute in 44 (41%) cases, and acute in 18 (17%) cases.


Middle-aged females, left-sided leg, and above-knee segment were predominantly affected with DVT; hence, this buttresses the need for Doppler ultrasound in the diagnosis of DVT in all patients.


Deep-venous thrombosis; Doppler scan; North-western Nigeria; lower limb veins

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