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New guidelines developed for improved DVT diagnosis
Date:2/14/2012

A researcher at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City is part of a select panel of international experts to help develop new evidence-based clinical guidelines used by physicians worldwide for the diagnosis and treatment of blood-clotting disorders, one of the most common cardiovascular diseases in the United States.

Scott M. Stevens, MD, co-director of the Thrombosis Clinic at Intermountain Medical Center, says the new guidelines are critically-needed to ensure that clinicians worldwide are using the most advanced information and protocols available to properly diagnosis deep venous thrombosis, or DVT.

The new guidelines, which will become the global standard of care for the diagnosis of DVT, are published in the February issue of Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Deep venous thrombosis or DVT mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. The clot can block blood flow and cause swelling and pain. When a clot breaks off and moves through the bloodstream, this is called an embolism. An embolism can get stuck in the brain, lungs, heart, or other area, leading to severe damage.

Rapid treatment for DVT is crucial to prevent potentially fatal complications. But the symptoms are often mistaken for a sprain or tendon injury, says Dr. Stevens.

"Thrombosis, particularly DVT, is the third most common cardiovascular disease in the United States, behind only heart attack and stroke," he says. "Prompt treatment is very important to prevent the clot from leaving the leg and traveling to the lungs, heart or brain. Physicians need good information on the best way to diagnose a DVT."

Because of research performed by Dr. Stevens and the team of thrombosis researchers at Intermountain Medical Center, Dr. Stevens was chosen to help draft a new chapter for the ninth edition of the guidelines. Previous editions have not included a chapter on diagnosing DVT.

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Contact: Jess C. Gomez
jess.gomez@imail.org
801-507-7455
Intermountain Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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