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Doppler ultrasound venous mapping of the lower limbs

Authors Galeandro AI, Quistelli G, Scicchitano P, Gesualdo M, Zito A, Caputo P, Carbonara R, Galgano G, Ciciarello F, Mandolesi S, Franceschi C, Ciccone MM

Received 25 October 2011

Accepted for publication 25 November 2011

Published 7 February 2012 Volume 2012:8 Pages 59—64


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Aldo Innocente Galeandro1, Giovanni Quistelli2, Pietro Scicchitano2, Michele Gesualdo2, Annapaola Zito2, Paola Caputo2, Rosa Carbonara2, Giuseppe Galgano3, Francesco Ciciarello4, Sandro Mandolesi4, Claude Franceschi5, Marco Matteo Ciccone2
1Centro Diagnostica Globale and ASL-TA, Taranto, Italy; 2Cardiovascular Diseases Section, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University of Bari, Bari, Italy; 3Cardiovascular Diseases Section, Ente Ecclesiastico Ospedale Generale Regionale F Miulli, Acquaviva delle Fonti, Bari, Italy; 4Cardiology Department, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; 5Vascular Laboratories of Hospitals Saint Joseph and Pitié-Salpétrière, Paris, France

Background: The study aim was to test the accuracy (intra and interobserver variability), sensitivity, and specificity of a simplified noninvasive ultrasound methodology for mapping superficial and deep veins of the lower limbs.
Methods: 62 consecutive patients, aged 62 ± 11 years, were enrolled. All underwent US-examinations, performed by two different investigators, of both legs, four anatomical parts, and 17 veins, to assess the interobserver variability of evaluation of superficial and deep veins of the lower limbs.
Results: Overall the agreement between the second versus the first operator was very high in detecting reflux (sensitivity 97.9, specificity 99.7, accuracy 99.5; P = 0.80 at McNemar test). The higher CEAP classification stages were significantly associated with reflux (odds ratio: 1.778, 95% confidence interval: 1.552–2.038; P < 0.001) as well as with thrombosis (odds ratio: 2.765, 95% confidence interval: 1.741–4.389; P < 0.001). Thus, our findings show a strict association between the symptoms of venous disorders and ultrasound evaluation results for thrombosis or reflux.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that our venous mapping protocol is a reliable method showing a very low interobserver variability, which makes it accurate and reproducible for the assessment of the morphofunctional status of the lower limb veins.

Keywords: venous mapping, new methodology, sensitivity, specificity, accuracy

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