Tests and exams

Physical examination

In the case of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the health care professional will inspect your legs for swelling, warmth, changes in skin colour (bluish or reddish) or visible veins on the surface of the skin (dilated veins). They will also check for pain during palpation of the calf and for signs of a pulmonary embolism as described in the section on symptoms.

If the physician suspects a pulmonary embolism, they will check your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, oxygen level) and examine your lungs and heart with a stethoscope.

A complete physical examination may also be performed to identify the cause of the thrombosis.

What tests are used to detect the presence of a deep vein thrombosis?

The most commonly used tests are the D-dimer test and the Doppler ultrasound.

D-dimers: A blood test used to assess the coagulation of blood and determine if a blood clot is present. If the result indicates a normal level of D-dimers and thus a low risk of DVT, the physician will reassure you and no further tests will be recommended.