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Jornal Vascular Brasileiro

versão impressa ISSN 1677-5449


BARROS, Fanilda Souto et al. Evaluation of pelvic varicose veins using color Doppler ultrasound: comparison of results obtained with ultrasound of the lower limbs, transvaginal ultrasound, and phlebography. J. vasc. bras. [online]. 2010, vol.9, n.2, pp.15-23. ISSN 1677-5449.

Introduction: Pelvic varicose veins, one of the main causes of chronic pelvic pain and dyspareunia, are an important source of reflux for lower limb varicose veins, especially in recurrent cases. Color Doppler ultrasound of the lower limbs and transvaginal ultrasound are the noninvasive diagnostic methods most commonly used to assess pelvic venous insufficiency, whereas phlebography is still considered as the gold standard. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of lower limb varicose veins originating from the pelvis in a group of female patients and to determine the agreement between results obtained via color Doppler ultrasound of the lower limbs, transvaginal ultrasound, and phlebography. Methods: The sample comprised female patients referred to a vascular laboratory for lower limb screening. Patients diagnosed with deep venous thrombosis were excluded. Data analysis included kappa coefficient of agreement, McNemar's test, sensitivity and specificity values. Results: Of a total of 1,020 patients, 124 (12.2%) had findings compatible with reflux of pelvic origin. Among these patients, 51 (41.2%) were recurrent cases. A total of 249 were submitted to transvaginal ultrasound. There was significant agreement between lower limb ultrasonographic findings and transvaginal findings. Phlebography was performed in 54 patients. The comparison between transvaginal ultrasound and phlebography was associated with a 96.2% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Conclusions: The authors draw attention to the relatively high prevalence of lower limb varicose veins originating from the pelvis, suggesting an important but underdiagnosed cause of recurrent varicose veins.

Palavras-chave : Color Doppler ultrasound; pelvic varicose veins; transvaginal Doppler ultrasound; phlebography.

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