Value of magnetic resonance venography and computed tomographic venography in lower extremity chronic venous disease

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For the treatment of chronic venous disease (CVD) of the lower extremity, identification of the underlying venous pathologies is essential. Traditionally, the pathologies to detect with imaging have been centred on insufficiency and reflux of the superficial, perforator and deep veins of the leg. More recently, stenosis and obstruction of the deep veins of the pelvis and abdomen (i.e. inferior vena cava, common and external iliac veins) have been identified as significant underlying pathologies in CVD. Accurate detection of stenotic and/or occlusive venous disease expands the treatment options for patients with CVD. In most cases, imaging of venous disease is performed with duplex ultrasound. In this article we discuss the existing evidence and potential value of computed tomographic venography and magnetic resonance venography to contribute in accurately identifying chronic venous disease, in particular chronic venous obstruction.

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