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How are blood clots diagnosed?

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Quick Answer

Blood clots are typically diagnosed with ultrasounds, blood tests and venography, according to eMedicineHealth. If doctors suspect a pulmonary embolism, a CT scan with contrast or ventilation perfusion may be ordered.

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Skin warmth and redness, pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of blood clots, notes MedicineNet.com. There may also be tenderness in the affected limb. If the clot is arterial in nature, the area may appear white or otherwise discolored.

Risk factors for blood clots include older age, a sedentary lifestyle with prolonged sitting, smoking, and being overweight, states WebMD. Prolonged immobility due to illness or injury, hormonal therapies, pregnancy and conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are other risk factors, adds eMedicineHealth.

Blood thinners are the treatment of choice for clots, notes MedicineNet.com. Injectable forms are used initially, and the patient is gradually transitioned to oral medications.

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when a blood clot develops in a deep vein, explains WebMD. DVT usually occurs in the calf or thigh, but it can develop in the arms or other areas as well. DVTs can either partially or completely block blood flow, damaging tissue in the affected area. Clots can also break free and travel to the lungs, where they become a life threatening emergency.

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