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How is a duplex ultrasound used to diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

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Duplex ultrasounds don't hurt, they don't put anything inside your body, and they involve no radiation. The doctor spreads warm gel on your skin and then rubs a wand over the area where he thinks the clot could be. The wand sends sound waves into your body and relays the echoes to a computer, which makes pictures of your blood vessels and sometimes the blood clots.

This test doesn't work as well at finding blood clots very deep inside the body, such as in your pelvis.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

Society of Interventional Radiology: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

Society for Vascular Surgery: "Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)."

ACR/RSNA: "What Is Vascular Ultrasound?" and "What Is MRI of the Body?"

FDA: "Avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis: Keep the Blood Flowing."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on July 12, 2017

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

Society of Interventional Radiology: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

Society for Vascular Surgery: "Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)."

ACR/RSNA: "What Is Vascular Ultrasound?" and "What Is MRI of the Body?"

FDA: "Avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis: Keep the Blood Flowing."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on July 12, 2017

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How is a venography used to diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

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