Clinical validity of a negative venogram in patients with clinically suspected venous thrombosis.
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Although it is generally accepted that negative venography excludes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in patients in whom it is clinically suspected, there is no evidence to support this conclusion. To test the correctness of withholding anticoagulant therapy in these patients, we followed 160 consecutive patients who had clinically suspected DVT and negative venograms to determine the frequency of postvenographic DVT. Anticoagulant therapy was withheld in all patients. No patient died or developed pulmonary embolism during 3 months of follow-up. Two of the 160 patients (1.3%) attended the clinic on an emergency basis during follow-up with new symptoms of DVT and in both patients, DVT was confirmed by objective testing. These events developed within 5 days of venography, which suggests that they were induced by venography. Nevertheless, the findings indicate it is safe to withhold treatment in patients with clinically suspected DVT and negative venograms.
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