Visceral Vascular Duplex and Doppler Color Flow Imaging
Duplex technology, the ability to create ultrasound echo-images of the blood vessels, combined with Doppler ultrasound evaluation of the blood flow velocity in the arteries is also valuable for investigation of disease of the vessels in the abdomen.
The abdominal arteries carry blood to the liver, spleen, intestines, stomach, kidneys and legs. For this reason, identification of disease in these vessels is important for diagnosis of several major vascular disorders.
Indications for Testing
- Visceral angina/Chronic mesenteric ischemia
- Renovascular hypertension
- Suspicion of renal fibromuscular hyperplasia
- Portal hypertension
- Portal or hepatic vein thrombosis
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Lower extremity arterial occlusive disease
- Baseline study prior to vascular surgery
- Postoperative follow-up
- Evaluation of Liver, Pancreatic, and Renal Transplants
You have been asked to refrain from eating for at least 8 hours prior to this test to reduce the presence of abdominal gas, which may interfere with the test. The procedure is brief and pain free. After dressing in a hospital gown, you will be requested to lie on an examination table. The technologist will ask several questions about your past medical history and present symptoms for your permanent, confidential Laboratory record. The examiner will apply acoustic gel to your abdomen over the region to be scanned. A small hand-held ultrasound transducer will be moved over your abdomen while sound waves are sent into the arteries. Using the ultrasound echo-images as a guide, the technologist will record the blood flow patterns from discrete areas of the vessels for interpretation.
The Duplex Scan of the Abdominal Aorta and Iliac Arteries will identify atherosclerosis, occlusion, dissection, or aneurysmal disease of these vessels. If an aneurysm of the aorta is identified, its size and location with respect to the arterial branches of the aorta will be determined. As the chances of rupture increase when the diameter of an aortic aneurysm becomes greater than 5 centimeters, it is important that follow-up examinations are scheduled. You will most likely be given a six-month follow-up appointment, if indicated, so that the size or your aneurysm may be closely monitored.
A Renal Artery Duplex Scan may be requested to rule out narrowing of the renal arteries, the blood vessels that carry flow to the kidneys. The blood flow patterns and images within the kidneys will also be evaluated to identify the presence of end-vessel renal vascular disease, intrinsic kidney disease, masses, or kidney stones.
If you are experiencing abdominal pain after eating and have suffered severe weight loss, your physician may suspect that you have an inadequate blood supply to the stomach and intestines. A Mesenteric Arterial Duplex Scan may be ordered to identify the presence of disease in the arteries that supply the digestive organs. Ultrasound interrogation of the aorta, superior mesenteric, celiac, splenic and hepatic arteries will be performed to determine the presence of severe narrowing or occlusion of these vessels.
Hepato-Portal Duplex Scan and Doppler Color Flow Imaging may be requested to rule out disease of the circulatory vessels of the liver or spleen. The procedure is similar to that used for the renal and mesenteric arteries and can be used to determine portal, splenic, and hepatic vein thrombosis and for thorough evaluation of portal hypertension, gastric bleeding, cirrhosis, and ascites.