What is the role of duplex ultrasonography in the workup of inferior vena cava thrombosis (IVCT)?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018
  • Author: Luis G Fernandez, MD, FACS, FASAS, FCCP, FCCM, FICS, KHS, KCOEG; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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Advantages of duplex US include the following:

  • Noninvasiveness
  • Portability
  • Efficacy in helping diagnose DVT at the femoral level and, to some extent, at the distal iliac level
  • Possible ability to help in visualizing dilated collaterals
  • Possibly more accurate assessment of the extent of thrombus than venography

Disadvantages of this imaging modality include the following:

  • Operator dependence
  • Anatomic limitations
  • Less reliable diagnosis within the abdomen because of greater difficulty in assessing venous compressibility
  • Loss of respiratory phasicity above the renal veins because of retrograde transmission of the cardiac cycle through the valveless IVC

Go to Bedside Ultrasonography for more complete information on this topic.

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