Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Diagnosis

Did you know around 1 out of 3 of every 1000 adults in the United States develop DVT or Pulmonary Embolism and 300,000 people (about half the population of Wyoming) die each year from DVT/PE? Sounds terrifying…. doesn’t it? To diagnose DVT, your doctor may conduct a physical exam to check your symptoms and other possible reasons behind your symptoms and medical history. After that, the doctor orders several tests to rule out the cause of your symptoms. Get a consultation with the best vascular disease specialists in Brooklyn.



Imaging tests like venous duplex ultrasound, venography, D-dimer test, or CT scan are used.

  1. Venous duplex ultrasound:

This is the most recommended method to diagnose DVT as it produces images of veins or sees the clot by using soundwaves. This ultrasound is divided into two processes.

First process: In this part, a bright module ultrasound is used to produce an image by sending high-energy sound waves through your internal organs, veins, and tissues which bounce off after interacting with them and create echoes. These echoes are recorded by the transducer (the ultrasound machine) that shows an image on the screen of the machine. While imaging the deep veins of the leg, the technician may collapse or compress the veins to check whether they are collapsing or not. If not, then a clot is preventing them and DVT is diagnosed. This is the easiest way to diagnose a DVT.

Second process: This part of duplex ultrasound is used to detect abnormalities in blood flow. Those bounced-off sound waves after interacting with a vein produce can detect blood flow changes and create images on the computer. It can show exactly what changes occur within your vein or if its blood flow is completely normal. If it shows no blood flow in the vein, then it confirms that the patient has DVT.


This test has successfully identified 95% of DVT cases that occur in the large veins above the knee. However, if the test is negative, then there is still a chance that DVT occurs in the small veins below the knee or in the calf veins, which require other tests to detect or treat safely.


  1. Venography and magnetic resonance imaging:

In case ultrasound shows negative results, and the doctor suspects that there is still a chance of DVT in smaller veins then venography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used.

Until recently, venography used X-rays to diagnose DVT but now MRI is used because X-rays venography can be painful. During venography, a contrast dye is injected into the blood vessel of the foot. Then, the MRI machine uses pulses of radio-frequency waves to cause hydrogen atoms to line up within tissues. When the pulse stops, the hydrogen atoms form their natural state. The recorded signal from the machine, like ultrasound, converts into an image. Different tissues and veins produce different signals. As clots give off different signals than blood flow, MRI can detect a thrombosis.

Venography produces better images of the veins located in the pelvis, abdomen, and chest than ultrasound does. It also doesn’t need compression; it can detect clots in limbs inside plaster casts. While MRI is superior to ultrasound in small veins, this test costs much more than ultrasound.


  1. D-Dimer test:

This is a blood test used to check a protein called D-dimer that is produced when a blood clot dissolves inside the body.

If the results show low or normal levels of this protein, then the doctor believes the risk of clot is lower and you may not have DVT. But if you have elevated levels of D-dimer, then you might have a blood clot. Your doctor also looks for other conditions that can increase your D-dimer like pregnancy and heart disease.


  1. Computed tomography (CT) scan:

This scan uses X-rays to find DVT in your abdomen, pelvis, or brain, as well as blood clots in your lungs. During the procedure, a technician puts into a CT machine which produces X-ray beams in circles around the body. After interacting with tissues, veins, and other organs, these beams reflect the machine and produce high-quality images.



If you have any vascular problems, please visit our cardiology clinic in Brooklyn for professional help. Call us on +1(347) 384-5690. The Cardiologists at Doral Health & Wellness consistently have outstanding patient satisfaction ratings. The professionals at Heart Specialist Brooklyn are able to greatly improve their patient’s health and quality of life because of their vast training and experience. New Yorkers can get the greatest medical, surgical, and cardiovascular care at Doral Health & Wellness Brooklyn. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212.