• One hundred patients undergoing elective aortic surgery were scanned prospectively for development of deep venous thrombosis (DVT). The incidence of DVT in this population was 13%. Eleven patients showed only calf vein thrombosis on venography, whereas two had occlusive iliofemoral thrombus. The correlation between venous Doppler ultrasound and venography was 80%. More importantly, Doppler examination correctly identified both patients with occlusive thrombus. Fibrinogen scanning was associated with a false-positive rate of 31%. Only one patient suffered a nonfatal pulmonary embolus. Fibrinogen scanning has an unacceptably high false-positive rate; however, Doppler ultrasound will identify significant occlusive thrombus without a high false-positive rate. The low incidence of pulmonary emboli does not warrant such definitive measures as prophylactic vena caval interruption.
(Arch Surg 1982;117:1210-1211)