Detection of clinically suspected deep vein thrombosis using light reflection rheography

Alberto A. Mitrani, Marco L. Gonzalez, Mark T. O'Connell, Jorge Guerra, Ronna B. Harwood, Laurence B. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Venography is the current standard for the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Noninvasive tests have differing sensitivity and specificity, are technically demanding, and may be subject to variability in interpretation. Light reflection rheography (LRR) is a noninvasive method utilizing light-emitting diodes and a sensor to measure light reflected from the skin surface. The intensity of reflected light establishes a graphic pattern that indirectly quantifies parameters of venous function by measuring changes in the microcirculation. Seventy-two patients who underwent contrast venography at our institution were also evaluated with LRR. Twenty-four patients were found to have DVT as demonstrated by venography. Of these, 23 also had DVT detected by LRR. No evidence of thrombus was seen in 45 patients studied by venography; in this group, 35 had normal venous emptying indicated by LRR. Using LRR, a sensitivity of 96% was achieved in the evaluation of clinically suspected DVT. This sensitivity is comparable with other noninvasive tests. In addition, LRR is easy to operate, portable, inexpensive, and not technically demanding. Further investigation is needed to confirm these data and further define the role of LRR in the evaluation of clinically suspected DVT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-650
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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