Recurring blood clots in the lungs could be prevented with computed tomography (CT) scans of the legs, according to a study in the February issue of the journal Radiology.
Researchers found that indirect CT venography (CTV) could identify blood clots in the legs that have the potential to break free, travel to the lung and block an artery--a life-threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary emboli and blood clots in the legs, also called deep vein thrombosis, are both manifestations of thromboembolic disease.
CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA), a type of lung scan, is commonly used to detect the presence of blood clots in the lung. But because many clots in smaller arteries are not visible on this lung scan, thromboembolic disease may go undiagnosed in some patients. Indirect CTV can help identify a blood clot problem. "Studies have shown that inadequately treated deep vein thrombosis is associated with recurring pulmonary emboli," said lead author, Matthew D. Cham, M.D., a radiology resident at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, New York.
Maureen Morley | EurekAlert!
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