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WY Pek, A Johan, SS Tan, P Lee, CBE Chee, YT Wang
Correspondence: Dr Azman Johan, email@example.com
Introduction There is a lack of data on the prevalence of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in patients admitted to hospital for exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Studies have found that most pulmonary embolism originate from deep vein thrombosis in the lower limbs, thus the prevalence of deep vein thrombosis may give an accurate reflection of the prevalence of pulmonary embolism. The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of deep vein thrombosis in these patients, using duplex ultrasound of the lower limbs as the screening tool.
Methods Thirty-three male patients admitted to the general ward for exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were screened for presence of deep vein thrombosis of the lower limbs using duplex ultrasound scan.
Result No patient in this study was found to have deep vein thrombosis of the lower limbs.
Conclusion The prevalence of deep vein thrombosis in local patients admitted for exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is likely to be low. We do not recommend the use of duplex ultrasound to screen for deep vein thrombosis in this group of patients.
Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, venous thromboembolism, duplex scan
Singapore Med J 2001; 42(7): 308-311