Venography may be used to demonstrate thrombus in the deep veins of the leg. Radiographs are taken of the suspected veins following the injection of contrast.
The technique is indicated in patients with equivocal clinical signs and in whom non-invasive studies have been unhelpful. It demonstrates the majority of clinically-significant thrombi, the exceptions being those in deep femoral and pelvic veins.
However, it must not be used too many times in the same patient as there is a small risk of precipitating a DVT by damaging the intima of the vein walls. It is contra-indicated in the presence of peripheral vascular disease and pregnancy - Duplex ultrasound scanning is an alternative.
Last reviewed 01/2018