Skip to main content

Ultrasound performed by emergency clinician improved the diagnostic efficacy in deep vein thrombosis


Compression ultrasonography has proven to be a highly sensitive and specific modality for the recognition of lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Traditionally, lower extremity studies are performed by an ultrasonography technologist. However, bedside ultrasound performed by well-trained emergency clinician may help to decrease the waiting time for diagnosis and treatment.


To assess the efficacy of bedside ultrasound for the detection of deep vein thrombosis in the emergency department (ED).

Patients and methods

From January 1st 2006 to March 31th 2014, patients who were diagnosed as deep vein thrombosis, either by conventional duplex studies or bedside ultrasound, were included. Medical records were reviewed by a 6-year-trained emergency clinician. Age less than 18, patient who was referred from outpatient department or from other hospital, patient who had the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism before the visit, patient who use any anti-coagulant before the visit were excluded. Diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis was confirmed by any non-compressible venous vasculature of lower extremities, including common femoral vein, superficial and deep femoral vein, and popliteal vein, under ultrasound. Patient was divided into two group, one group was diagnosed by conventional duplex, and another group was diagnosed by bedside ultrasound. We compared the diagnostic time, treatment time, ED stay time between these two groups. Diagnostic time, treatment time, ED stay time were defined as time between the patient arrived ED and ultrasound-confirmed DVT, time between the patient arrived ED and patient first receive anti-coagulant, time between the patient arrived ED and patient admission or discharge, respectively.


Seventy-three patient were enrolled in this study, and 34 patients were male. The mean age was 60, ranging from 24 to 90. Sixteen patient had history of malignancy, 3 patient received major surgery within 3 months, and 2 patient had oral contraceptives. Bedside ultrasound significantly decreased the diagnostic time (2.24±0.43 hours and 17.28±4.77 hours, p< 0.001), treatment time (2.80±0.47 hours and 12.77±4.71 hours, P =0.001), ED stay time (13.49±2.80 hours and 31.74±6.89 hours, p =0.004).


Bedside ultrasound decreased the diagnosis time, treatment time, and ED stay time, which may help to relief the ED crowding condition in a medical center.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chien-Ming Chu.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Chu, CM., Chen, KC. & Wang, TL. Ultrasound performed by emergency clinician improved the diagnostic efficacy in deep vein thrombosis. Crit Ultrasound J 7 (Suppl 1), A28 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Emergency Department
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Treatment Time
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Femoral Vein