How to diagnose Vein Thrombosis

Diagnosing Deep Venous Thrombosis, also known as DVT, is like the diagnosis of any common disease, which requires a detailed history, physical examination and then a diagnostic process. The most common symptom of DVT is pain and swelling in a body part.

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After identifying the initial symptoms, other specific characteristics help in identifying DVT.  The various characteristics include a history of cancer, swelling of the lower extremities, tenderness in the extremities, a history of having contracted DVT previously, paralysis, recent immobilisation of perhaps having been bedridden due to pregnancy or a surgery.

These factors are kept into consideration before employing technological methods to diagnose DVT to find out the extent of the disease.  The most effect non-invasive method is the ultrasound that can accurately detect DVT in the upper and lower extremities.  Ultrasound is the safest technique as it does not emit radiation and can accurately detect blood clots in the chest, abdomen, pelvis or central veins.

After the diagnoses of DVT, through the doctor’s examination or the ultrasound, the patient has to undergo various other tests in order to find out how severe the DVT in which body parts.  Hence, in order to do that, MRIs and CT scans are undertaken by the patient for detecting the intensity of DVT in the pulmonary artery, chest and pelvis.  The CT scan is extremely accurate as it leads to a precise diagnosis.


However, the most accurate of the entire test for measuring the intensity of DVT for accurate diagnosis is Venography.  This test is invasive and an injection is inserted in the peripheral vein along with x-rays.  However, the venography test can provide a better picture of the extent of DVT that the body has and since the test is invasive, it is used only in rare or serious cases.

The final diagnoses of DVT involve anticoagulation treatment that prevents DVT from relapsing by improving the blood flow at a healthy rate inside the body.  The process involves subcutaneous (SC) low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) or unfractionated heparin (UH).  The patient is also required to take vitamin K daily for a long term.

Compression stockings will also be fitted onto the patient to provide 30-mmHg pressure to the lower extremity veins, which would reduce swelling as well as the incidence of contracting Postphlebitic syndrome. The procedure is quite lengthy as it involves protecting the body from DVT from future relapses.  It involves various tests but it also enables the patient to receive effective treatment in case of any potential relapse.

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