A member asked:

How can differntite between dvt and cellulitis in calf??

8 doctors weighed in across 4 answers
Dr. James Okamoto answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Can be difficult: It's not always easy without a careful look and tests to confirm. Both are serious so you should see a doc if you think you may have this. Both cause redness, swelling and pain. Cellulitis may be accompanied by fever,usually there is history of some skin infection/pimple, bite/scratch etc. DVTs usually don't occur in active people - but prolonged bed rest/sitting or family history are risks.

Answered 2/4/2021

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Difficult: This can be a difficult distinction on inspection alone. A positive venous duplex exam is definitive for DVT. Supplemental evidence can include elevated white count (cellulitis), fever (cellulitis), pustules (cellulitis), positive blood culture (cellulitis). Risk factors for cellulitis like diabetes or risk factors for DVT (like estrogen use, immobilization, prolonged travel, recent injury) helps.

Answered 9/3/2018

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Dr. John Landi answered

Specializes in Phlebology

DVT vs Cellulitis: Leg pain can be due to many causes. A venous doppler ultrasound is the gold standard to look for venous pathology. If this is normal then the chances of a DVT from the groin to the lower calf is extremely low. DVT is usually associated with leg pain and swelling and cellulitis is associated with leg swelling and fever. If you have leg symptoms then see a vein specialist for an evaluation.

Answered 9/3/2018

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DVT/cellulitis: cellulitis as well as DVT can present with leg swelling, however cellulitis which is an infectious process usually presents with reddish discoloration of the affected limb due to inflammatory process from the bacteria causing the infection. Localized superficial vein thrombosis may also present with redness but usually just over the track of the vein.

Answered 9/30/2019

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