Combined CT Venography and CT Pulmonary Angiography for the Detection of Deep Venous Thrombosis in Injured Patients

Division of Trauma and Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA.
The American surgeon (Impact Factor: 0.82). 09/2008; 74(10):935-938.


CT Venography (CTV) performed at the time of CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) images the central, pelvic, and extremity venous circulation with minimal additional time, radiation, and no added contrast. CTV has been added to CTPA routinely at our Level I trauma center since 2000, and we sought to determine if this addition had increased the diagnostic yield of CTPA in trauma patients. The attending radiologist's interpretation of all CTPA-CTV studies performed over a 5-year period ending in August 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. CTPAs and CTVs were categorized as “positive”, “negative”, or “indeterminate” for pulmonary embolus (PE) and deep venous thrombosis (DVT). During the study period, 3798 patients underwent both a CTPA and CTV; 309 (8%) of these were trauma patients. Forty-four (14%) had a PE diagnosed on CTPA. Seventeen (6%) had a DVT diagnosed on CTV. In eight (3%), the CTV added clinically relevant data, diagnosing a DVT in a patient without PE. As the consequences of a missed pelvic DVT are high and the added time burden, radiation, and contrast required for a CTV are low, further investigation into optimizing the sensitivity of CTV performed at the time of CTPA is warranted.

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    ABSTRACT: The objective of our study was to assess the incremental role of CT venography (CTV) combined with pulmonary CT angiography (CTA) in detecting venous thromboembolic disease with a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature. MEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science were searched for relevant original articles published from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2009. A random-effects model was used to obtain the incremental value of CTV in detecting thromboembolic disease. Twenty-four studies, which included 17,373 patients, met our inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis showed that CTV increased detection rates of venous thromboembolic disease by identifying an additional 3% of cases (95% CI, 2-4%) of isolated deep venous thrombosis (DVT). A subgroup analysis of a high-risk group did not show any difference in the detection of isolated DVT. The addition of CTV results in the increased detection of thromboembolic disease. CTV combined with pulmonary CTA has a promising role as a quick and efficient test for venous thromboembolism.
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