Should Body Mass Index Affect the Choice of Probe Frequency in the Clinical Assessment of Varicose Veins Using Hand-Held Doppler?

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to determine whether an increased body mass index should influence the choice of continuous-wave Doppler probe frequency in the clinical assessment of patients with varicose veins.

Design:

Prospective assessment of the effect of raised body mass index on the accuracy of clinical assessment of venous reflux using 4 and 8 MHz Doppler probes compared with duplex scanning.

Setting:

The ultrasound department of a university teaching hospital.

Patients:

Seventy-two patients with symptomatic primary varicose veins (108 limbs), who had not undergone previous injection sclerotherapy or surgical treatment.

Main outcome measures:

Measurement of body mass index and assessment of reflux with hand-held Doppler using 4 and 8 MHz probes immediately followed by duplex scanning.

Results:

There was no significant difference between the 4 and 8 MHz Doppler probes in the accuracy of detection of reflux at the sapheno-femoral junction, in the long saphenous vein or at the sapheno-popliteal junction in the whole patient group or in the obese subgroup.

Conclusion:

Body mass index should not influence the choice of probe frequency (between 4 and 8 MHz) in the clinical assessment of patients with primary previously untreated varicose veins.

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