Overview

What Is a Vascular Ultrasound?

What Is a Vascular Ultrasound?

A vascular ultrasound helps doctors look at your circulation inside your blood vessels, including your arteries and vein. A vascular ultrasound is non-invasive, which means doctors don’t need to use needles or anesthesia to do the test. It also doesn’t use radiation or contrast dye like most other imaging tests do, which makes this test very safe. A vascular ultrasound is also called a duplex study.

Doctors can use vascular ultrasounds to see how well your blood flows (circulation) throughout your abdomen, arms, legs, and neck, or almost any other part of your body.

At our Cardiovascular Center, this test is performed by our specially trained technologists. Your doctor may use a vascular ultrasound to evaluate one or more of the following conditions:

  • Blood flow in the arteries in your neck that supply blood to your brain (carotid ultrasound)
  • Blood flow in your arteries to see the severity and specific location of a narrowed area of the arteries (peripheral arterial disease or PAD)
  • Blood flow in your veins to detect clots (DVT) or reflux (venous insufficiency)
  • The size of your abdominal aorta to detect aneurysms (AAA)
  • Blood flow in dialysis grafts or fistulas
  • Blood flow to a newly transplanted organ

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Vascular Diagnostic Lab

The Vascular Diagnostic Laboratory is a full-service, clinical diagnostic center that provides access to sophisticated, modern ultrasound imaging equipment for noninvasive extracranial (cerebrovascular), venous, and arterial vascular procedures.

Non-invasive testing or procedures means that a doctor won't use needles, tubes, devices, or scopes to enter your body. Non-invasive tests also don’t use dyes, radiation, or anesthesia. Non-invasive testing is safe because a patient’s chances of having complications from non-invasive testing are very small.

Ultrasounds allow doctors to look directly inside your veins or arteries to check for plaque buildup or thrombus. They are also painless. 

The procedures we perform in our Vascular Diagnostic Laboratory help our doctors make a fast clinical diagnosis about venous or arterial circulatory conditions. The tests we use also help doctors decide if a patient will need more invasive procedures. We provide the highest accuracy possible with state-of-the-art technology.

Vascular Diagnostic Lab Services

  • Doppler studies
  • Ankle brachial indices (ABI)
  • Extracranial cerebrovascular (carotid artery) duplex imaging to find plaque or thrombus in the carotid arteries
  • Venous duplex imaging to identify the presence of venous thrombosis for DVT and SVT supraventricular tachycardia SVT
  • Peripheral arterial duplex to identify plaque or thrombus in the arteries of the legs or arms
  • Peripheral aneurysm and abdominal aneurysm duplex imaging
  • Venous insufficiency evaluation
  • Functional arterial evaluation including ischemia (rest pain, tissue death [known as gangrene]), claudication
  • Arterial or venous thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • Exercise treadmill