Sonography and risk factors for lower limb deep venous thrombosis at Mulago Hospital, Uganda
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Background: Lower limb deep venous thrombosis (DVT), and its sequelae (lower limb chronic venous insufficiency and pulmonary embolism) are now well acknowledged as major haematological problems in the world, for which appropriate and accurate means of diagnosis is necessary. Developments in ultrasound have made it the imaging modality of choice in the diagnosis of lower limb DVT. Objectives: To determine the sonographic pattern, and identify the risk factors of lower limb DVT. Design: Cross sectional, descriptive study carried out between April 2002 and March 2003. Setting: Mulago Hospital, Uganda. Subjects: Eighty six consecutive patients (92 limbs), with clinically suspected DVT, were studied by duplex sonography after a thorough risk factor evaluation. Results: Out of a total of 86 patients clinically suspected to have lower limb DVT, 38(44.2%) were found to have DVT after sonography. The gender incidence was similar. The left limb was affected in 60% of cases and the right in 40%. Bilateral DVT was noted in two patients. Most of the patients had acute and extensive DVT. Conclusion: Duplex ultrasonography is a very useful modality for assessing lower limb DVT, even in a low resource couhtry like Uganda. It demonstrates the wealth of information obtained from sonography.