Optimizing Lower Extremity Duplex Ultrasound Screening After Traumatic Injury

Jennifer E. Baker, Grace M. Niziolek, Nora C. Elson, Amanda M. Pugh, Vanessa Nomellini, Amy T. Makley, Timothy A. Pritts, Michael D. Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The risk assessment profile (RAP) score has been used to determine patients who would most benefit from lower extremity duplex ultrasound screening (LEDUS). We hypothesized that revising our LEDUS protocol to perform screening ultrasound examinations in patients with an RAP ≥8 within 48 h of admission would reduce the number of LEDUS performed without changing outcomes. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted on trauma patients admitted from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, and July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017. In 2014-2015, patients with an RAP score ≥5 underwent weekly LEDUS examinations starting on hospital day 4. In 2016-2017, the protocol was changed to start screening patients with an RAP score ≥8 by hospital day 2. Both protocols screened with weekly ultrasounds after the first examination. Demographic data, injury characteristics, LEDUS examination findings, chemoprophylaxis type, and venous thromboembolism incidence were collected. Results: A total of 602 patients underwent LEDUS examination in 2014-2015, whereas only 412 underwent LEDUS in 2016-2017. No significant difference was seen in the number of patients diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism. DVTs were most often identified on the first LEDUS examination in both cohorts. Of patients diagnosed with a DVT on an LEDUS examination, a significantly higher RAP score (12 versus 10), and a shorter time to first duplex (1 versus 3 d), and DVT diagnosis (2 versus 4 d) were observed in the 2016-2017 cohort. In patients diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, no significant differences were demonstrated between cohorts. Conclusions: Refinement of LEDUS protocols can decrease overutilization of hospital resources without compromising trauma patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Hypercoagulability
  • Lower extremity ultrasound duplex screening
  • Pulmonary embolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimizing Lower Extremity Duplex Ultrasound Screening After Traumatic Injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this