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The role of strain gauge plethysmography in the assessment of patients with suspected deep vein thrombosis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Patrick Kesteven


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Suspicion of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common reason for medical referral to hospital. Clinical signs and symptoms are notoriously unreliable, hence there is the need for objective testing. Strain gauge plethysmography (SGP) has been marketed as a technique for excluding lower limb DVT. We therefore set out to evaluate this screening tool. Over a 2 year period, 437 consecutive patients referred with suspected DVT were assessed using both plethysmography and Doppler ultrasound. When the two techniques were compared, plethysmography was found to have a negative predictive value of 90%. We conclude that strain gauge plethysmography has a role in the screening of patients with suspected DVT but should not be used as the sole method in patient assessment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robinson BJ, Kesteven PJL, Elliott ST

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Haematology

Year: 2002

Volume: 118

Issue: 2

Pages: 600-603

ISSN (print): 0007-1048

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2141

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.2002.03615.x


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