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  Augusto E. Villa, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Diplomate American Board of Cardiovascular Diseases,
Interventional Cardiology, Endovascular Medicine,
and Internal Medicine.

600 University Boulevard, Suite 200, Jupiter, FL. 33458
Ph. (561) 627-2912 • Fax (561) 627-2207
 
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  OFFICE BASED PROCEDURES
 
 
Doppler Ultrasound Test
 

A Doppler Ultrasound is a test to see how blood moves through your arteries and veins.

How the Doppler Ultrasound Test is performed?

The test combines traditional ultrasound with Doppler ultrasonography. Regular ultrasound uses sound waves that bounce off blood vessels to create pictures. Doppler ultrasound records sound waves reflecting off moving objects, such as blood, to measure their speed and other aspects of how they flow.

There are different types of Doppler Ultrasound exams. Some include: 

  • Arterial and venous duplex ultrasound of the abdomen examines blood vessels and blood flow in the abdominal area.
  • Carotid duplex ultrasound looks at the carotid artery in the neck.
  • Duplex ultrasound of the extremities looks at the arms or legs.
  • Renal duplex ultrasound examines the kidneys and their blood vessels.

You may need to wear a medical gown. You will lie down on a table, and the ultrasound technician will spread a gel over the area being tested. The gel helps the sound waves get into your tissues.

A wand, called a transducer, is moved over the area being tested. This wand sends out the sound waves. You need to stay still during the exam. You may be asked to lie in different body positions, or to take a deep breath and hold it.

A computer measures how the sound waves reflect back, and changes the sound waves into pictures. The Doppler creates a "swishing" sound, which is the sound of your blood moving through the arteries and veins.

Sometimes during a Doppler Ultrasound of the legs, the technician may calculate an ankle-brachial (ABI) index. You will need to wear blood pressure cuffs on your arms and legs for this test. The ABI number is obtained by dividing the blood pressure in the ankle by the blood pressure in the arm. A value of 0.9 or greater is normal.

How to prepare for the Doppler Ultrasound Test?

Usually, there is no preparation for a Doppler Ultrasound. Tell the Technician doing the ultrasound exam if you are taking any medicines, such as blood thinners, that might affect the results of the test.

How the Doppler Ultrasound Test will feel?

You may feel some pressure as the wand is moved over the body, but there is usually no discomfort.

Why the Doppler Ultrasound Test is performed?

Doppler Ultrasound is a less invasive option to arteriography and venography. A Doppler Ultrasound can show how blood flows to diferent parts of the body. It can also tell the width of a blood vessel and reveal any blockages.

A Doppler Ultrasound can help diagnose the following conditions:

  • Abdominal aneurysm
  • Arterial occlusion
  • Blood clot
  • Carotid occlusive disease
  • Renal vascular disease
  • Varicose veins
  • Venous insufficiency

What it means a Normal Doppler Ultrasound Test results?

A normal result is normal blood flow through the veins and arteries. There is normal blood pressure and no sign of a narrowing or blockage of a blood vessel.

What it means an Abnormal Doppler Ultrasound Test results?

An abnormal result depends on the specific area being examined. An abnormal result may be due to a blood clot or plaque buildup in a blood vessel.

What are the risks of a Doppler Ultrasound Test?

There are no risks.

 

 

 
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