Radiologists in Nottingham have discovered a fast and accurate technique to diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which may be particularly helpful to pregnant women and travellers at risk of developing dangerous blood clots.
In a study funded by the British Heart Foundation and published this week in the American journal, the Annals of Internal Medicine, (15 January 2002, volume 136, number 2) Professor Alan Moody and his team in the department of academic radiology at the University of Nottingham used magnetic resonance direct thrombus imaging (MRDTI) to visualize DVT in the legs. One hundred and one patients with suspected DVT, aged between 20 and 95 years, took part in the research to determine the accuracy of MRDTI to diagnose DVT above and below the knee. The results were compared with conventional tests and interpreted by two experts who found that the MRDTI diagnosis was accurate throughout the lower leg venous system.
?The great advantages that MRDTI has over other methods to detect thrombosis are that it is non-invasive, quick and reliable,? said Professor Moody. The scan takes about 12 minutes. Although venography, whereby a catheter is inserted into the veins, has largely been replaced by ultrasound, both techniques rely on changes secondary to a blood clot such as impaired blood flow. These results may be inconclusive. MRDTI is unique because it directly reveals the thrombus ? or clot ? in the legs.
Elaine Snell | alphagalileo
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