Numerical model of deep venous thrombosis detection using venous occlusion strain gauge plethysmography

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Strain gauge plethysmography (SGP) is a non-invasive method used in the detection of deep venous thrombosis (DVT). The technique is based on the measurement of calf volume changes in response to venous occlusion by a thigh cuff, the volume changes reflecting the rates of arterial inflow and venous outflow. A numerical model of the blood circulation within the limb and the response of this to a SGP test has been derived, based on treating the different parts of the circulatory system in the leg as resistance and capacitance elements. The simulation results were compared with clinical studies and support the ability of SGP to detect non-occlusive clots of more than 50–60% of the lumen, as well detecting calf vein pressure appears to be a particularly important factor within the model. In addition, increases in venous tone due to post-operative venospasm were shown to be a potential source of false positive results.