The gold standard for diagnosing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a venous duplex ultrasound. This is a painless test where the legs are scanned in the office using an ultrasound probe and some gel. If there is a blood clot (thrombosis) in a vein, it will be detected. Of course, the patient’s medical history and physical examination are important too. Certain blood tests, such a D-dimer, can also help alert the physician to the presence of a DVT, but an ultrasound is still needed.

Most DVTs are NOT hereditary. The biggest risk factors for developing a DVT are: previous DVT, recent surgery, diagnosis of cancer, and prolonged bed rest. Long plane rides and car rides and birth control pills are also mild risk factors. On rare occasion, a patient might have inherited a hypercoagulable condition called thrombophilia, which would make them at increased risk for a DVT.

Deep Vein Thrmbosis (DVT) Diagnosis