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One-Time Comprehensive Ultrasonography To Diagnose Deep Venous Thrombosis: Is That the Solution?

Dalia El Kheir, MD, MSc; and Harry Büller, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Academic Medical Centre, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Dalia El Kheir, MD, MSc, Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. El Kheir and Büller: Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(12):1052-1053. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-140-12-200406150-00016
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The diagnosis of lower-limb deep venous thrombosis (DVT) still poses a daily challenge to health care professionals. Only about 10% to 25% of patients with clinically suspected DVT have DVT confirmed by objective tests (1). If DVT is left untreated, the resulting mortality rate due to pulmonary embolism may exceed 20% (1), whereas a 6-month course of treatment with anticoagulants reduces the mortality rate to less than 1% but carries a 3% to 4% risk for major bleeding (2). Thus, diagnostic strategies to exclude DVT should be accurate, simple to apply to many patients, and cost-effective (3). The article by Stevens and colleagues in this issue (4) describes the results of a diagnostic strategy that may fulfill this purpose. To set the stage for explaining the contribution of this article, we first describe the evolution of recent approaches to diagnosing DVT.

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