How are DVT and PE diagnosed?

Legs on the beach

Below you can find a short description of the most common tests performed in order to diagnose a blood clot: an ultrasound examination to detect blood clots in the leg/arm (DVT) and a CT scan to detect a blood clot in the lung (PE).

Ultrasound for DVT diagnosis

Most of us know ultrasound from pregnancy examinations but they are often used for other purposes like diagnosing DVT. This procedure is non-invasive - it may be used after a blood test has shown an elevated D-dimer or it may be used on its own for diagnostic purposes. 

Watch the short animation below on how the procedure is performed. 

CT scan for PE diagnosis

A Computerised Tomography (CT) scan provides your doctors with a 2-dimensional image of your organs. This exam is performed in large scanners in the hospitals or at radiology centers. 

Watch the short animation below on how the procedure is performed. 

You can find a more detailed list of other tests which may be performed in order to diagnose a blood clot here.

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