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Venous Thromboembolic Disease and Diagnosis by Ultrasound

Stephanie R. Wilson, BS, RDMS, RVT

*Coordinator, Vascular Sonography, South Hills School of Business and Technology, State College, Pennsylvania.

Address correspondence to: Stephanie Wilson, BS, RDMS, RVT, Coordinator, Vascular Sonography, South Hills School of Business and Technology, 480 Waupelani Drive, State College, PA, 16801. E-mail: swilson@southhills.edu

Disclosures: The author reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.


Venous thromboembolic disease is one of the most common and preventable causes of death for hospitalized patients. The disease represents the combination of acute deep vein thrombosis with pulmonary embolism. Most pulmonary emboli originate in the lower extremity veins, and duplex imaging is a rapid means to help determine its presence. This application of sonography is an accurate and effective method to assist diagnosing patients with deep vein thrombosis. As with learning any ultrasound technique, the first step is to understand the disease process, normal venous anatomy, and proper examination techniques. This article will present an overview of the components needed for evaluation of the lower extremities to determine the presence or absence of deep vein thrombosis, which helps the clinician diagnose venous thromboembolic disease.

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