ABSTRACT: To compare the usefulness of five diagnostic methods in ensuring deep vein patency, and in demonstrating site(s) of incompetence, 39 patients with clinical signs of chronic venous disease of a leg were included in a study of deep, superficial and perforator veins using triplex ultrasound (TUS), ascending phlebography (AP), descending phlebography (DP), continuous wave Doppler (CWD) and ambulatory strain gauge plethysmography (ASGP). One patient withdrew from the study. It was not possible to use all five methods in all 38 cases, and the methods could only be used partly in some cases. TUS, which allows anatomical, morphological and functional evaluation of the venous system, was chosen as the reference method. There was poor agreement between TUS and AP, and no agreement between TUS and ASGP, in the diagnosis of venous occlusion. AP demonstrated reflux (abnormal valves) in 7 of 22 patients with competent veins at TUS, and missed reflux in 13 of 15 patients with incompetent veins. Similarly, CWD overdiagnosed reflux in 13 of 20 patients and missed the reflux in 3 of 14 patients. DP was only technically possible in 11 patients. ASGP diagnosed venous reflux in all patients with incompetent deep veins, but also indicated deep vein or perforator vein reflux in all but one patient with competent deep veins. The agreement between TUS and the other methods in evaluating reflux in the deep veins was not better than that expected to occur by chance, Cohen's kappa being less that 0.20. It is concluded that AP, CWD and ASGP are of little value in the work-up of patients with deep venous insufficiency.
British Journal of Radiology 08/2002; 75(895):578-83. · 1.31 Impact Factor