Diagnosing a DVT
It can be difficult to diagnose a DVT as there may be many causes for a swollen and painful leg. However there are tests that can detect clots. The following three tests are often used.
- D-dimer test – a blood test which detects fragments of breakdown products of a blood clot. The higher the level, the more likely you are to have a blood clot in the leg. The results can be affected if you have recently had surgery or are pregnant and therefore a positive test is an indicator, not a diagnosis and can decide if further tests are required
- Ultrasound scan also known as a duplex Doppler scan is non-invasive and is used to show the blood flow in the legs and see if there are any blockages
- Contrast Venography involves dye being injected into the legs and an x ray will then detect if there is a blockage in the vein.