Prevalence and associations of incidental nonvenous duplex findings discovered during lower extremity venous imaging

Michael C. Dalsing, Andrew A. Gonzalez, John G. Maijub, David M. Rollins, Lava R. Timsina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Venous duplex imaging defines venous pathology (VP). Unexpected clinically relevant findings are also found but rarely mentioned in the literature. This study aims to define the prevalence of ancillary findings (nonvenous duplex) by study type and venous outcome and subgroup associations with primary study indication and risk factors. Methods: Our vascular laboratory database was queried for lower extremity venous duplex studies with comments regarding ancillary findings and associated patient demographics, primary study indication, associated conditions, and venous study outcome. Results: There were 52,215 venous studies performed, 48,425 to evaluate for venous occlusion (acute/chronic) and 3790 for venous reflux. Of these studies, 15,810 found VP and 36,405 found no venous disease. There were 875 studies with venous disease that had ancillary duplex findings (5.5%) noted as 559 (3.5%) with prominent lymph node(s) (LN), 179 (1.1%) Baker's cyst (BC), 44 (0.3%) hematoma/mass (HM), 31 (0.2%) arterial aneurysm, and 16 (0.1%) arterial occlusion. There were 3130 studies free of VP with ancillary findings (8.6%) noted as 2258 (6.2%) prominent LN(s), 626 (1.7%) BC, 156 (0.4%) HM, 37 (0.1%) arterial aneurysm, and 22 (0.06%) arterial occlusion. The overall prevalence of ancillary findings was 8.62%. Analysis demonstrated statistically more ancillary findings in venous occlusion (odds ratio [OR], 1.25) studies, which was the largest group at 13 to 1. Studies free of venous disease had more ancillary findings (P <.001) with an OR of 1.88 and similar results were noted for LN(s), BC, and hematoma. Studies with VP favored a finding of aneurysm (OR, 0.52). Subgroup analyses demonstrated that those with prominent LN(s) were statistically older and male and BC statistically older in those with coexistent venous disease. BC subgroup analysis showed that studies free of venous disease were 2.5 times more likely to report pain as the primary study indication (P <.0001). In general, within ancillary subgroups, leg symptoms were statistically more prominent on the side with ancillary pathology and free of venous disease. Conclusions: Ancillary findings are not uncommon and are more common in studies found free of VP. The most common are LNs, BC and HM and, within subgroups, significant leg symptoms favors the presence of ancillary findings without coexisting venous disease. Ancillary findings should be an integral part of a quality report.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Baker's cyst
  • Hematoma
  • Lymph node
  • Prevalence
  • Venous diagnosis
  • Venous duplex ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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