Vascular Ultrasound

Smiling GenerationsVASCULAR ULTRASOUND is an important diagnostic tool used in the diagnosis and detection of blood vessel problems. Ultrasound is also used to detect heart problems.

Non-invasive vascular testing is an integral part of the treatment of vascular disorders.

Your vascular lab visit will consist of a safe non-invasive ultrasound exam. Non-invasive means the ultrasound procedure does not require the use of needles, dyes, radiation or anesthesia.

A qualified technologist will perform your procedure by applying a hypoallergenic water-based gel to the area to be evaluated. Then a small microphone-like device called a transducer is passed over the gel-coated area to be examined, which produces and image on the screen of the ultrasound machine. Ultrasound is also used to measure the blood flow in specific blood vessels.Noises might be heard while the technologist listens to the blood flow. Upon completion of the exam, a physician reviews and interprets all of the images and blood flow measurements.

These diagnostic studies can provide a benchmark for treatment, assist in subsequent management decisions and document improvement or progression of vascular disease.

To prepare for your vascular ultrasound examination, you should wear comfortable clothing. There is no special preparation for most exams.

Vascular Testing

Carotid Disease (Stroke, TIA)

  • Screening: Carotid Ultrasound with spectral and color Doppler imaging.
  • Screening for hemodynamically significant carotid lesions.

Arterial (Claudication, Diabetes, Foot Ulcers) 

  • Arterial Ultrasound: color duplex imaging of upper and lower extremity arteries with spectral analysis of Doppler.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

  • Abdominal Ultrasound: imaging with color duplex spectral analysis for diagnosis and monitoring.

Venous (Leg Swelling, Lymphedema, Ulcers, Chronic Venous Insufficiency) Deep Vein Thrombosis. Venous Stasis

  • Venous Duplex: imaging with color Doppler of deep and superficial veins of upper and lower extremities.
  • Results of studies for DVT are routinely called to the physician's office immediately after study is completed.

Vascular Lab - Lower Extremity Arterial Exam

This test utilizes blood pressure cuffs which are placed at different intervals of the leg to obtain pulse volume recordings and blood pressure readings at these various levels.

The pressures are compared to the brachial arm pressure and an ankle/arm index is calculated. This exam allows the physician to pin-point the level and severity of lower extremity insufficiency.

Symptoms and Signs

  • Claudication – buttocks, thighs or calves.
  • Rest pain – usually feet.
  • Diminished or absent pulses.
  • Cyanosis or pallor.
  • Flammation and skin lesions
  • Tissue ischemia or gangrene.

Lower Extremity Venous Exam
Duplex ultrasound exam of the femoral triangle, popliteal and posterior tibial veins is performed. These vessels are examined for compressibility, augmentation and valve competence.

Superficial vessels can also be examined, such as the greater and lesser saphenous, anterior tibial and other calf veins.

Clinical Conditions

  • Deep venous thrombosis – diagnosis and follow-up.
  • Superficial thrombosis.
  • Follow-up efficacy of anticoagulant.

Symptoms and Signs

  • Leg pain or heaviness.
  • Swelling.
  • Cyanosis.
  • Positive Homan's Sign.

Vascular Lab - Upper Extremity Arterial Exam

To perform this test, three separate blood pressure cuffs are placed on the arm and proximal and distal forearm. Doppler blood pressures are taken in each extremity, and the induced pressure curve (pulse volume recording) is analyzed. No patient preparation is required.

Clinical Conditions

  • Arterial insufficiency – diagnosis and quantification.
  • Vascular surgery – pre-op evaluation and follow-up.
  • Raynaud's Disease – diagnosis and follow-up therapy.
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome – evaluation.

Symptoms And Signs

  • Easy fatigue of the arms.
  • Pain and color changes of fingers – intermittent or permanent.
  • Diminished or absent pulses.
  • Cyanosis or pallor.
  • Dizziness when using arm.
  • Lower blood pressure in one arm.

Upper Extremity Venous Exam
Duplex ultrasound exam of upper venous flow is performed using compression and Doppler techniques. The subclavian, brachial, radial and ulnar veins are examined, as well as the axillary and basilic veins.

Clinical Conditions

  • Venous thrombosis – diagnosis and follow-up.
  • Superficial thrombosis – diagnosis and follow-up.
  • Follow effectiveness of anticoagulant therapy.

Symptoms and Signs

  • Arm pain or heaviness.
  • Swelling.
  • Cyanosis.
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