Deep vein thrombosis may first be suspected after a
medical history and
physical exam. The information gathered from these
initial tests will help your doctor determine whether your risk level for
having deep vein thrombosis is low, medium, or high. Your risk level will help
your doctor decide the appropriate testing for deep vein thrombosis.
the main test used to help diagnose deep vein thrombosis. It creates a picture
of the flow of blood through the veins. You might need more than one
ultrasound, usually done a few days to a week apart. This is called serial
testing sequence for deep vein thrombosis is based on
your risk level and the results from your first ultrasound.
Heparin and warfarin (Coumadin) are two types of blood thinners (anticoagulants) commonly used in deep vein thrombosis treatment. Though they're called blood thinners, these DVT treatments do not actually thin your blood; rather, they can keep existing blood clots from getting larger or prevent new ones from forming. They do this by preventing the production of certain proteins needed for blood to clot.
Special blood tests may help identify
inherited blood-clotting abnormalities that can
increase your risk of forming blood clots. But screening for these factors
is not routinely done and is controversial.
Screening might be sensible if you have or had one or more of the following:
A blood clot in a vein that has no clear
A blood clot at age 45 or younger
blood clot in a vein at an unusual location, such as the gastrointestinal
region, the brain, or the arms
family member (mother, father, brother, or sister) who has had a blood clot in
a vein before age 45 or has had problems with blood clotting
Some doctors believe that checking for clotting problems
with a blood test can help prevent deep vein thrombosis in people who have an
increased risk and are in a high-risk situation (such as upcoming surgery). If
a blood test finds clotting problems, then preventive measures can be taken.