What is Arterial Ultrasound?
In Arterial Ultrasound high-frequency sound waves which are inaudible to the human ear are transmitted through the body tissues. The echoes are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images. It is a safe and painless procedure. The procedure is noninvasive meaning it does not require the use of needles, dyes, radiation or anesthesia.
Ultrasound images help in the diagnosis of a wide range of diseases and conditions. The idea for ultrasonography came from sonar technology which makes use of sound waves to detect underwater objects. Ultrasound is used to create images of soft tissue structures and can also be used to detect blockages in the blood vessels. Ultrasound may be used with other diagnostic procedures or by itself.
During a vascular ultrasound, sound waves are transmitted through the tissues of the area being examined. These sound waves reflect off blood cells moving within the blood vessels, allowing the reading physician to calculate their speed. The sound waves are recorded and displayed on a computer screen.
It is also known as ultrasound imaging, ultrasound scanning, or sonography. It involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel that is directly placed to the skin. High frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. No radiation is used as in x-rays, so there is no radiation exposure to the patient. As ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Vascular ultrasound provides pictures of the body’s veins and arteries. Doppler ultrasound is a special technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body’s major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.
Why is an Arterial Ultrasound performed?
Sonography is a useful way of evaluating the body’s circulatory system. Arterial ultrasound is performed for the following:
- Monitor the Blood Flow to Organs and Tissues Throughout the Body
- Locate and Identify Blockage (stenosis) and Abnormalities like Plaque or Emboli for Effective Treatment
- Detect Blood Clots, Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) in the Major Veins of the Legs or Arms
- Determine Whether the Patient is a Good Candidate for Angioplasty
- Evaluate the Success of Procedures that Graft or Bypass Blood Vessels
- Determine the Source and Severity of Varicose Veins
The “mapping” portion of the ultrasound test is performed to determine which blood vessels may be used as a lower extremity bypass graft or coronary artery bypass graft for your surgical procedure.