Doppler ultrasound for deep vein thrombosis
Doppler ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging technique that has been used since 1954.
It is a non-invasive, reliable tool for investigating pathologies in the venous system.
It is indicated for the diagnosis, or exclusion of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in symptomatic patients.
Whilst it may be used in patients who are asymptomatic, it is a less reliable technique and for this reason, venous ultrasound is generally reserved for patients with clinical symptoms of DVT and/or a positive serum D-dimer test result.
Because DVT can be suspected in a number of presenting symptoms, this module is relevant to anyone involved in nursing or midwifery care with an interest in knowing more about the diagnostic phase.
Whilst it is radiographers and sonographers who perform Doppler ultrasound, it is always helpful for nursing practitioners to understand the diagnosis of conditions that inevitably lead to nursing care and management.
This module provides any overview of presenting symptoms before discussing how Doppler ultrasound findings can be used to indicate a DVT.
It is in no way intended to teach ultrasound technique but simply to give an insight into how Doppler ultrasound is used in diagnosing DVT.
It is also beyond the scope of this module to discuss nursing interventions and care of an individual diagnosed with a DVT and this discussion is reserved for a later module.
At the end of this module participants will be able to:
- Explain what D-dimer is
- Understand how deep vein thrombosis is diagnosed using ultrasound
- Understand the main diagnostic criteria for deep vein thrombosis