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Point-of-Care Ultrasound for Bedside Diagnosis of Lower Extremity DVT

      The point-of-care ultrasound DVT (POCUS DVT) examination can facilitate rapid bedside diagnosis and treatment of lower extremity DVT. Awaiting radiology-performed Doppler ultrasonography and interpretation by radiologists can lead to delays in lifesaving anticoagulation, and the POCUS DVT examination can provide timely diagnostic information in the patient with lower extremity symptoms. This article outlines accepted techniques for the POCUS DVT examination, discusses the historical context from which the current recommendations have evolved, and provides illustrations alongside ultrasound images of relevant venous anatomy to orient the clinician. Finally, common pitfalls and methods to avoid them are described.

      Key Words

      Abbreviations:

      B-mode (brightness-mode), DFA (deep femoral artery), POCUS (point-of-care ultrasound), SEC (spontaneous echo contrast)
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