Impedance plethysmography using the occlusive cuff technique in the diagnosis of venous thrombosis

R. Hull, W. G. van Aken, J. Hirsh, A. S. Gallus, G. Hoicka, A. G. Turpie, I. Walker, M. Gent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Citations (Scopus)


Impedance plethysmography using the cuff technique has been compared with venography, in 346 consecutive patients with suspected venous thromboembolism. The limbs were classified according to the venographic results as no thrombosis, proximal (popliteal, femoral, or iliac) vein thrombosis, and calf thrombosis. A discriminant analysis was performed. The impedance plethysmographic result was normal in 386 of 397 limbs which were normal on venography, a specificity of 97%, and abnormal in 124 of 133 limbs which showed proximal vein thrombosis, a sensitivity of 93%. Seventy three of 88 limbs wih calf vein thrombi had a normal impedance plethysmographic result. The sensitivity in 29 limbs with asymptomatic proximal vein thrombosis was 83%. Impedance plethysmography is an accurate method for detecting proximal vein thrombosis but had limitations which include the possibility of false positive results due to arterial insufficiency and muscle tension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-700
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1976
Externally publishedYes


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