Ultrasonography.  2021 Jul;40(3):442-448. 10.14366/usg.20171.

Triaging deep vein thrombosis using ultrasonography after lower-extremity orthopedic surgery: analysis of a single-center experience

  • 1Department of Radiology, Gachon University Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Gachon University Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
  • 3Department of Radiology, Eunpyeong St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


This study aimed to stratify risk factors and vein levels for postoperative deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after lower-extremity orthopedic surgery.
Ninety-nine patients who underwent Doppler ultrasonography after lower-extremity orthopedic surgery were enrolled. Medical records were reviewed for anesthesia duration, type of surgery, body weight, height, and cardiovascular risk factors (including history of smoking, diabetes mellitus or hypertension, blood pressure, and total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol levels), and the DVT treatment. Ultrasound diagnosis of DVT was made according to a routine protocol. The relationships between selected factors and the presence of DVT were assessed using univariate and multivariate regression analyses.
Thirty-three (33%) patients were found to have calf DVT. The mean age, weight, and height of the non-DVT and postoperative DVT patients were 55.1 years versus 65.4 years, 70.5 kg versus 61.2 kg, and 163.3 cm versus 157.0 cm, respectively. Total cholesterol/HDL levels in the non-DVT and DVT patients were 70.6/20.7 mg/dL and 90.8/26.0 mg/dL, retrospectively. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the non-DVT and DVT patients were 133.6/80.2 mm Hg and 132.2/78.1 mmHg, respectively. The mean duration of anesthesia was 173.9 versus 199.9 minutes, and the operative time was 136.4 minutes versus 161.0 minutes. Older age (P=0.005) and lower body weight (P=0.002) were significantly associated with postoperative DVT. No other significant between-group differences were found (P>0.05). The patients with ultrasound-identified DVT received antithrombotic treatment. None of them had distant thromboembolism.
After lower-extremity orthopedic surgery, the calf veins in elderly patients with low body weight are susceptible to thrombosis; they would most likely benefit from postoperative ultrasonography.


Deep vein thrombosis; Ultrasound; Postoperative; Risk factor; Orthopedics
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