Objectives—To determine whether the qualitative sonographic appearance of slow deep venous flow in the lower extremities correlates with quantitative slow flow and an increased risk of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in oncology patients. Methods—In this Institutional Review Board–approved retrospective study, we reviewed lower extremity venous Doppler sonographic examinations of 975 consec-utive patients: 482 with slow flow and 493 with normal flow. The subjective slow venous flow and absence of initial DVT were confirmed by 2 radiologists. Peak velocities were recorded at 3 levels. Each patient was followed for DVT develop-ment. The associations between DVT and the presence of slow venous flow were examined by the Fisher exact test; a 2-sample t test was used for peak velocity and DVT group comparisons. The optimal cutoff peak velocity for correlation with the radiologists’ perceived slow flow was determined by the Youden index. Results—Deep venous thrombosis development in the slow-flow group (21 of 482 [4.36%]) was almost doubled compared with patients who had normal flow (11 of 493 [2.23%]; P = .0456). Measured peak venous velocities were lower in the slow– venous flow group (P < .001). Patients with subsequent DVT did not have a significant difference in venous velocities compared with their respective patient groups. The sum of 3 venous level velocities resulted in the best cutoff for dichotomizing groups into normal versus slow venous flow. Conclusions—Qualitative slow venous flow in the lower extremities on Doppler sonography accurately correlates with quantitatively slower flow, and this preliminary evaluation suggests an associated mildly increased rate of subsequent DVT development in oncology patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging