Is real-time elastography helpful to differentiate acute from subacute deep venous thrombosis? A preliminary study
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PURPOSE: To detect and characterize changes in stiffness of thrombus in patients with acute and subacute deep venous thrombosis (DVT) by using real-time elastography (RTE). METHODS: Fifty-eight patients with acute or subacute DVT were prospectively evaluated by B-mode sonography (US), color Doppler US (CDUS), and RTE. Two radiologists evaluated the thrombus echogenicity, compressibility, and recanalization of the affected vein, and thrombus stiffness in consensus. The thrombi were classified into 3 groups as soft, intermediate, and hard on RTE images. RESULTS: The final study group consisted of 30 patients with acute DVT, among whom 10 were women (33%), and 19 patients with subacute DVT, among whom 6 were women (32%). The presence of hypoechoic thrombus, incompressible vein, and absence of recanalization on US and CDUS were significantly associated with acute DVT (P < .001 for all variables). The differences in elasticity pattern of the thrombi between acute and subacute DVT were not significant (P = .202). CONCLUSION: Venous thrombus hardens with age; however, elastography pattern on RTE, in its present form, may not be able to differentiate acute DVT from subacute DVT.
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