Venous evaluation & DVT
Venous disease is approximately 10 times more common than arterial disease in Western society. In Australia, it has become an important issue for General Practitioners to refer patients to the evaluation they need for underlying vascular conditions.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Thrombosis in the lower limb results in symptoms ranging from none to phlegmasia cerulea dolens. The success of clinical examination in making a definitive diagnosis of DVT has been shown to be 50%. Since the complication of pulmonary embolism can be fatal, an objective assessment is essential.
Venography used to be the “gold standard ” in assessment of the venous system. it has now been superseded by duplex ultrasound scanning. Venography is invasive, painful and carries a risk of damage to the veins. Performed by an experienced sonographer, duplex ultrasound is 99% accurate in the diagnosis of thrombus in the major axial veins and 90% accurate in the smaller veins.
Duplex scanning also has the advantage of providing a definitive diagnosis in patients with ruptured Baker’s cyst or musculoskeletal injury both of which can mimic DVT.
Spider veins or varicose veins, those twisted dark purple ‘road map lines’ most frequently seen in the legs and more predominantly in women (as much as five times more), are a very common condition resulting from a range of contributing factors.