How does a doctor confirm a deep vein thrombosis or DVT diagnosis? Here are a couple of tests a doctor could order if he or she suspects DVT.
Although exact numbers are unknown, as many as 900,000 Americans are affected by deep vein thrombosis every year.
DVT is a condition many don’t know about, and yet it often takes lives. Anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of patients who are diagnosed with DVT pass away within one month.
However, this condition can be diagnosed, reducing the risk of death. But what does a DVT diagnosis entail?
Join us as we dive into the body to learn more about this dangerous condition.
What Is a Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot (usually in the leg) forms in the body. DVT is a side effect of conditions that affect blood clotting, and the chances of experiencing it are increased significantly if individuals move very little or not at all for extended periods of time.
The seriousness of this condition is a direct result of the blood clot, which can travel into the lung. If this occurs, blood flow is halted within the artery in the lung. The clots rob the lung of oxygen, and it dies.
This condition is known as pulmonary embolism.
Symptoms of DVT are sometimes noticeable and, at other times, nonexistent. Individuals may experience:
- Leg pain
- Red skin on the leg
- A sensation of warmth in the leg
A pulmonary embolism presents itself through shortness of breath, chest pain, a rapid pulse or coughs accompanied by blood.
There are a number of factors that increase the likelihood of developing DVT. Almost all of them affect blood clotting and circulation:
- Prolonged bed rest
DVT may also be a by-product of inherited bleeding and clotting disorders. Consequently, it’s vital that patients with a history of these disorders have their blood analyzed by a pathologist. Using hematology, he or she will determine if you have a blood disorder.
How Doctors Confirm a DVT Diagnosis
If a patient shows signs of deep vein thrombosis, physicians have several means of diagnosing it.
An ultrasound works by sending sound waves into the body. A computer uses these waves to produce a picture.
Using this method, doctors may be able to identify the clot and see if it is growing.
Venographies are more invasive. A dye is injected into an artery, which allows an X-ray to produce images of your leg and foot.
Doctors analyze the images to search for a clot.
Typically, individuals with DVT have elevated levels of a substance known as D dimer. D dimer is a protein fragment that results from a clot breaking apart.
If an individual has DVT, the clot slowly releases D dimer into the bloodstream.
In some cases, an MRI or CT scan is used to diagnose DVT. These methods provide a visual representation of your veins, revealing any clots. They are less commonly used to diagnose DVT.
Quick Diagnoses Through Telehealth Solutions
A DVT diagnosis comes in several forms, but in some cases, a deeper investigation is necessary.
More frequently than ever before, hospitals and other medical facilities are turning to telepathology to identify diseases and issues. It’s effective, accurate and fast.
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Together, let’s change medicine and save lives.