Standards of the Polish Ultrasound Society – update. Sonography of the lower extremity veins
Grzegorz Małek1, Andrzej Nowicki2
1 Laboratory of Vascular Ultrasound and Echocardiography, Department of Radiology, Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Warsaw, Poland
2 Department of Ultrasound, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Correspondence: Professor Grzegorz Małek, MD, PHD, Laboratory of Vascular Ultrasound and Echocardiography, Department of Radiology, Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Warsaw, Płocka 26, 01-134 Warsaw, Poland, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article has been prepared on the basis of the Ultrasonography Standards of the Polish Ultrasound Society (2011) and updated based on the latest findings and reports. Ultrasound examination of the lower extremity veins is relatively easy and commonly used to confirm or rule out venous thrombosis. However, a relatively easy compression test frequently requires experience, particularly in situations when imaging is difficult(due to lymphedema, dressing or thick tissues). The technique is time-consuming and requires assessment of each deep vein every 1 cm. Lesions in the deep veins cannot be ruled out when the vessels are assessed in only 2–3 points – a full examination is needed. The value of the method is the highest when the proximal section is assessed and the lowest when crural veins are evaluated. Doppler sonography is the basic method used when patients are prepared for a surgery of varicose veins. The assessment of the superficial veins prior to this procedure is tedious and requires knowledge of anatomy together with numerous variants. A considerable challenge is posed by re-assessment of recurrent varicose veins following a previous surgery. The Standards include anatomic nomenclature proposed by the Polish Society for Vascular Surgery and Polish Society of Phlebology, which should facilitate communication with clinicians. The most beneficial patient positions have been thoroughly discussed in terms of safety and effectiveness of the examination. Sometimes during such an examination, no venous pathology is found, but other changes with symptoms that suggest deep thrombophlebitis are detected. In such a situation, it is necessary to conduct an initial (or complete, if possible) assessment of lesions as well as provide recommendations connected with further, more detailed diagnosis.