Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can 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.
Carotid artery US
The carotid arteries provide the main blood supply to the brain. There carotid arteries are located on each side of your neck under the jawline.
Carotid artery disease is a condition in which these arteries become narrowed or blocked. When the arteries become narrowed, the condition is called carotid stenosis.
Renal Artery US
The renal arteries normally arise off the side of the abdominal aorta, immediately below the superior mesenteric artery, and supply the kidneys with blood. Each is directed across the crus of the diaphragm, so as to form nearly a right angle with the aorta.
The renal arteries carry a large portion of total blood flow to the kidneys. Up to a third of total cardiac output can pass through the renal arteries to be filtered by the kidneys.
The arterial supply of the kidneys is variable and there may be one or more renal arteries supplying each kidney. It is located above the renal vein. Supernumerary renal arteries(two or more arteries to a single kidney) are the most common renovascular anomaly, occurrence ranging from 25% to 40% of kidneys.
Abdominal Aortic US
The abdominal aorta is the largest artery in the abdominal cavity. As part of the aorta, it is a direct continuation of the descending aorta (of the thorax).
Peripheral Arterial US
Peripheral arterial disease, also called PAD, occurs when blood vessels in the legs are narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits and blood flow to your feet and legs decreases. If you have PAD, you have an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. An estimated 1 out of every 3 people with diabetes over the age of 50 have this condition. However, many of those with warning signs don’t realize that they have PAD and therefore don’t get treatment.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
Sonography is a useful way of evaluating the body’s circulatory system. Vascular ultrasound is performed to:
- help monitor the blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body.
- locate and identify blockages (stenosis) and abnormalities like plaque or emboli and help plan for their effective treatment.
- detect blood clots (deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in the legs or arms.
- determine whether a patient is a good candidate for a procedure such as angioplasty.
- evaluate the success of procedures that graft or bypass blood vessels.
- determine if there is an enlarged artery (aneurysm).
- determine the source and severity of varicose veins.