Detection of deep venous thrombosis: Prospective comparison of MR imaging and sonography

Avery J. Evans, H. Dirk Sostman, Lynn A. Witty, Erik K. Paulson, Charles E. Spritzer, Barbara S. Hertzberg, Barbara A. Carroll, Victor F. Tapson, Herbert A. Saltzman, David M. DeLong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Seventy-five patients (41 women and 34 men, 20-85 years old) with clinically suspected deep venous thrombosis (DVT) were examined with MR imaging and sonography. In 26 patients, the final diagnosis was acute femoropopliteal DVT. The sensitivity of MR imaging for detecting this disease was 100% with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 87-100%; the specificity was 100% with a CI of 92-100%; and the accuracy was 96% with a CI of 89-99%. The correspond- ing sensitivity of sonography was 77% with a CI of 53-92%; the specificity was 98% with a CI of 89-100%; and the accuracy was 83% with a CI of 72-90%. In four of the 75 patients, MR images revealed thrombus of the pelvis (n = 1) or calf (n = 3) without femoropopliteal involvement. The estimated prevalence of isolated calf and/or pelvic DVT was 5% with a CI of 1-13%. MR imaging is significantly more sensitive (P = .02) and accurate (P < .01) than sonography in the detection of lower extremity DVT, but there was no difference in the specificity of MR imaging and that of sonography (P = .31).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Contrast venography, V/Q scintigraphy
  • Deep venous thrombosis
  • MR imaging
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Sonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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