Doppler sonographic evaluation of venogenic extremity swellings: Analysis of 170 patients from Kano, Nigeria
Introduction: Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a serious problem that can potentially lead to many complications including life‑threatening pulmonary arterial thrombosis. Screening and confirmation of the diagnosis are critical in the care of this condition.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of Doppler sonography in diagnosing DVT and to illustrate the pattern in 170 suspected cases from our local environment.
Materials and Methods: This study was conducted at our department over 18 months. A total of 170 patients with clinical suspicion of limb DVT were recruited. The characteristics of the patients, risk factor for DVT, and the site of the lesion were documented. Sonographic examination was done using 7.5 MHz linear and 3.5 MHz convex transducers.
Results: Out of the 170 patients, there are 89 (52.35%) males and 81 (47.65%) females. Their mean age was 50.6 years (+17.9 years). The common risk factors for DVT include chronic medical illness (28.8%), long distance travel (15.3%), previous DVT (8.8%), stroke/paralysis (5.3%), neoplasms (5.9%), pregnancy (5.9%), and trauma/surgery (5.9%). About 55.8% (95) of them were confirmed to have DVT on ultrasound while 44.2% (75) had normal ultrasound findings. There was a female preponderance among the 95 cases of DVT, 58.9% of them were females while 41.1% of them were males. It was found that contiguous femoro‑popliteal and ilio‑femoro‑popliteal segments were most commonly thrombosed. These lesions were predominantly left sided (59.5%).
Conclusion: There was a predominance of females and femoro‑popliteal segments in DVT. Doppler ultrasound is very useful in the evaluation of extremity DVT. All clinically suspected cases should be evaluated with this modality due to limited sensitivity of clinical evaluation in the diagnosis of DVT. Further correlative studies in comparison to venography and hematologic indices are also recommended.
Keywords: DVT, Doppler ultrasound, limb swelling