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Deep vein Thrombosis

If you think that you may have deep vein thrombosis (DVT), see your GP as soon as possible.
Your GP will ask you about your medical history and your symptoms. However, it can be difficult to diagnose DVT from symptoms alone, so your GP may recommend one of the following tests:

D-dimer test

A specialised blood test known as the D-dimer test is used to detect pieces of blood clot that have been broken down and are loose in your bloodstream. The larger the number of fragments found, the more likely it is that you have a blood clot in your vein.

However, the D-dimer test is not always reliable. Blood clot fragments can increase after an operation or injury, or if there is inflammation in your body (when your immune system reacts to an infection or disease). This means that additional tests, such as an ultrasound scan, need to be performed to confirm DVT.

If the D-dimer test is negative, it rules out the possibility of a DVT in up to 97% of cases.

Ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan can be used to detect clots in your veins. A special type of ultrasound known as a Doppler ultrasound can also be used to find out how fast the blood is flowing through a blood vessel. This helps doctors identify when blood flow is slowed or blocked, which could be caused by a blood clot.

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