Hematocrit in calf veins on MRI

Case contributed by Chris O'Donnell
Diagnosis certain


MRI for leg pain, incidental finding.

Patient Data

Age: 65
Gender: Female

Tri-layer appearance to blood within deep calf veins best seen on PD fat sat; sediment of RBC, supernatent of plasma and a middle grey layer (so-called buffy coat) containing the neutrophils and platelets.

Case Discussion

In the short period of lying supine in a fixed position (within the surface coil for MRI scanning), blood has pooled and sedimented into its constituents (since the muscle pump effect on the veins is neutralized). 

One could imagine if the patient has a thrombogenic tendency or prolonged fixation that thrombus could readily form.  An interesting perspective on how DVT occurs!

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