How are blood clots diagnosed?

Blood clot symptoms can mimic other health conditions. Doctors use a variety of tests to detect blood clots and/or rule out other causes. If your doctor suspects a blood clot, he or she may recommend:

  • Blood work: in certain scenarios, a simple blood test is all one needs to rule out a blood clot.
  • Ultrasound provides a clear view of your veins and blood flow.
  • CT scan of the head, abdomen, or chest, depending on where your symptoms stem from. Doctors may use this imaging test to confirm a blood clot’s presence. The test also can help rule out other potential causes of your symptoms.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), is an imaging test similar to a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test. An MRA looks specifically at blood vessels.
  • V/Q scan tests circulation of air and blood in the lungs.

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