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Abstract

A total of 379 general surgical and hip replacement patients were studied with the radioactive fibrinogen uptake test and the Doppler ultrasound flow detector to determine the incidence and natural history of postoperative deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in their lower limbs. The overall incidence of D VT was 33 per cent, but clinical follow-up indicated that the great majority of these patients suffered no ill effects. It is concluded that thrombosis diagnosed by the radioactive fibrinogen uptake test is of very limited clinical significance and that the technique cannot be recommended as a screening test for DVT.