Overuse of Compression Ultrasound for Patients with Lower Extremity Cellulitis.
Thromb Res. 2014 Aug 15;
Authors: Gunderson CG, Chang JJ
BACKGROUND: Compression ultrasound (CUS) is often ordered in hospitalized patients with cellulitis to assess for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Despite this common practice, the rate of use and utility of CUS has not been well described.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult patients with lower extremity cellulitis hospitalized between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2013 at an academic medical center. Cases meeting inclusion criteria were reviewed for the use of CUS, the indication for CUS, the occurrence of DVT, and the 3month follow-up occurrence of DVT after discharge.
RESULTS: A total of 239 patients were identified using ICD-9 coding data with a discharge diagnosis of cellulitis or abscess of leg. Of these, 183 met criteria for inclusion in the study, 133 of whom had CUS to assess for DVT (73%). Of the 133 who received CUS, 11 studies found DVTs (8%). Of the 11 DVTs, 8 had been previously diagnosed, and 3 were new. Of the new DVTs, only one was ipsilateral to the leg with cellulitis.
CONCLUSION: Most patients admitted with lower extremity cellulitis received CUS to assess for DVT. Despite this common practice, the rate of acute ipsilateral DVT was low and matched the rate of acute contralateral DVT. Previously diagnosed DVTs were commonly re-imaged. Overall the use of CUS had minimal impact on patient management and the routine use of CUS to assess for DVT in hospitalized patients with cellulitis appears to be unnecessary.
PMID: 25179516 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]