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Diagnostic Tests for Bulging veins

Diagnostic Test list for Bulging veins:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Bulging veins includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Examine the bulging veins depending on location
    • If bulging veins are in the legs, examine for leg inflammation, swelling, pigmentation, tenderness or thrombosis. If the pattern of affected veins is unusual (e.g. bulging pubic veins), try to exclude a secondary cause of the varicose veins due to a pelvic cancer by performing a rectal and pelvic examination
    • If bulging veins are in the neck, examine the Internal jugular vein for height and character. It gives information about the function of the right side of the heart. Position the patient lying down at a 45 degree angle. If the height is more than 3 cm above the sternal angle it is often a sign of failure of the right ventricle of the heart or volume overload. Examine the cardiovascular system for signs of right ventricular failure (e.g. blue skin of the peripheries, tender enlarged liver, ankle swelling , distended abdomen due to ascites); tricuspid heart valve stenosis or regurgitation ( e.g. distinctive heart murmur); constrictive pericarditis ( e.g. low blood pressure, impalpable heart beat, soft heart sounds, enlarged liver and spleen, swollen ankles). Examine for signs of superior vena caval obstruction ( obstruction of the large vein that returns blood from head, neck and upper limbs to the heart) e.g. blue face, swelling of the eyes, nil pulsation of the internal jugular vein, bulging veins on chest wall. Examine for signs of a cause of the superior vena caval obstruction e.g. lung cancer, goiter, aortic aneurysm
    • If bulging veins are on the abdominal wall, determine the direction of blood flow through the prominent veins both above and below the navel (i.e. by occluding the vein with the finger and emptying the blood from the vein below the occluding finger. Remove the second finger and if the vein refills, flow is occurring towards the occluding finger). If direction of flow is away from the navel both above and below the navel it suggests severe portal hypertension. If direction of flow is upwards towards the heart both above and below the navel it suggests inferior vena cava obstruction (blockage of the main vein that collects blood from the legs and empties into right side of heart) usually due to a tumor or thrombosis (clot within the vein). If suspect portal hypertension as a cause of bulging abdominal veins, hemorrhoids or bloody vomit, examine for other signs of portal hypertension e.g. enlarged spleen, hemorrhoids, ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity); and also examine for signs of possible causes of portal hypertension such as liver disease, chronic cardiac failure, constrictive pericarditis, lymphoma , leukemia. If suspect inferior vena cava as a cause of bulging abdominal veins, examine for other signs of inferior vena cava obstruction e.g. ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity), pelvic or abdominal mass Digital rectal examination and manual vaginal examination may be required to examine for masses that may be obstructing the inferior vena cava and thus causing bulging veins
  • Blood tests
  • ECG
  • Radiological investigations if bulging leg veins
    • Doppler ultrasound scan of varicose veins to localize sites of incompetent valves
    • Pelvic ultrasound scan and/or CT scan to detect presence of mass that may be obstructing deep venous return
  • Radiological investigations if bulging neck veins
    • Chest X-Ray may show small heart of constrictive pericarditis; enlarged heart of right heart failure; lung cancer or chronic lung disease
    • Echocardiogram to detect heart valve disease, assess heart function and candetect pericarditis
    • CT scan chest may detect lung cancer or other chest tumors that may the cause of superior vena caval obstruction
    • Thyroid ultrasound scan to examine for retrosternal goiter
  • Radiographic investigations if bulging abdominal veins
    • Abdominal ultrasound scan to detect ascites or presence of mass or to evaluate size of liver or spleen
    • Other investigations depending on suspicion of the cause of distended veins e.g. echocardiogram to detect congestive heart failure or pericarditis; barium enema to detect gastrointestinal tumor, CT scan of abdomen may be required to detect abdominal mass
  • Examination of any ascites fluid - for appearance, protein content, cell count and culture may help to determine cause of bulging abdominal veins.
  • Cardiac catherisation may be required to measure pressures within the heart if neck veins are distended

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Bulging veins causes:

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Bulging veins:

The following list of conditions have 'Bulging veins' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Bulging veins or choose View All.


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