MRI vs Ultrasound to check for DVT's - Anticoagulation UK

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MRI vs Ultrasound to check for DVT's


Hi all,

For my own piece of mind, I'm thinking to go and check if my DVT's resolved or not. Since our national health service don't offer this service, I'm going to request it privately. Question is, since I'll be paying anyway, can anyone tell me which would be more effective?

7 Replies

Definitely a CT scan or an MRI. But be guided by the consultant (you will, presumably, be seeing one).

gazaeee in reply to mrsredboots

I define wouldn't want to do a CT because of the radiation but an MRI I think is supposed to be very safe

I don’t think that is a question that we can answer as it depends on your personal medical circumstances. It also depends on what you mean by your dvt ‘resolving’. Since you are asking the question I assume that you either have ongoing pain or you are anxious that any residual thrombosis might put you at risk, so perhaps an appointment with an haematologist, either via your GP or privately, would be informative and might lead to further testing if it is needed.

gazaeee in reply to SpeedyH

Thank you.

Id like to know if my body has cleared the DVT from the vein or if it is still there as it can go either way from what lots of people have told me. Also want to know if I have/had any clots in my other leg as I get pains quite regularly that are similare to the pain I had when I was diagnosed with my first and second DVT.

I suppose I could frame the question like this.

Will blood clots in the legs show more clearly in an MRI or in an ultrasound scan?

SpeedyH in reply to gazaeee

A quick google shows research from 2003 that showed that Ultrasound has a 94% success rate for identifying DVT in the upper leg and only a 64% success rate in the lower leg. CT scans has a 95% success rate for all DVT. MRI has a 92% success rate for all DVT. I interpret this to mean that CT scans is best; followed by MRI (or equally an ultrasound for a thigh DVT); and lastly ultrasound for a calf DVT. These were tests for the presence of a DVT, I have no knowledge about whether one is more detailed over the other.

gazaeee in reply to SpeedyH

Thank you Speedy that is very very helpful to know :)

Hi - I am suffering from multiple PE's in my lungs rather than DVT in the legs, however I had a CT scan (pulmonary angiogram) a week or so ago to check on the clots, this was done privately. Prior to arranging the test I asked whether a MRI rather than a CT scan could be carried out (no radiation with MRI) and I was advised that a CT scan is a much better method of investigating arteries, veins and organs, especially with the "contrast" that is used - incidentally I was originally diagnosed with PE following a "routine" CT scan, so very effective at identifying the clots in the body.

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