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Arterial and Venous Duplex Ultrasound

An arterial and venous duplex ultrasound is different from your normal ultrasound test.

Traditional ultrasound uses sound waves that bounce off blood vessels to create pictures. An arterial and venous duplex ultrasound uses doppler ultrasound to record sound waves reflecting off moving objects, such as blood flow, to measure speed and other aspects of its movement.

There are different types of duplex ultrasound exams:

  • Arterial and venous duplex ultrasound of the abdomen examines blood vessels and blood flow in the abdominal area.

  • Carotid duplex ultrasound looks at the carotid artery in the neck.

  • Duplex ultrasound of the extremities looks at your arms or legs.

  • Renal duplex ultrasound examines your kidneys and their blood vessels.

Who is eligible for an arterial and venous duplex ultrasound?

If you have any of these symptoms, an arterial and venous duplex ultrasound may be a safe, painless way to diagnose an underlying condition:

  • Resting leg pain.
  • Skin discoloration.
  • Foot, ankle, heel, or toe ulcers.
  • Leg pain when walking.

What conditions can be diagnosed by an arterial and venous duplex ultrasound?

An arterial and venous duplex ultrasound can help diagnose the following conditions:

  • Blood clot.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Arterial occlusion.
  • Venous insufficiency.
  • Abdominal aneurysm.
  • Renal vascular disease.
  • Carotid occlusive disease.

How do I prepare for an arterial and venous duplex ultrasound?

Usually, there is no preparation needed for an arterial and venous duplex ultrasound.

If you're having an ultrasound of your stomach area, you may be asked not to eat or drink after midnight the night before your test.

If you are taking any medicines, such as blood thinners, tell the ultrasound technician. It could affect the results of the test.

What should I expect during my arterial and venous duplex ultrasound?

You may need to wear a medical gown. You will lie down on a table, and the ultrasound technician will spread a gel over the area of your body being tested. The gel helps the sound waves get into your tissues.

The ultrasound technician will move a wand, called a transducer, over the area. This wand sends out the sound waves. A computer measures the sound waves and changes them into pictures.

You will need to stay still. You may be asked to lie in different body positions or take a deep breath and hold it.

If the ultrasound technician is doing a duplex ultrasound of your legs, they may calculate an ankle-brachial (ABI) index. You will need to wear blood pressure cuffs on your arms and legs for this test.

You may feel some pressure from the wand, but there is usually no pain.

Why choose Presbyterian for an arterial and venous duplex ultrasound?

Presbyterian’s Heart and Vascular team has many different options to help you manage your heart or vascular condition. The team performs various diagnostic tests and procedures to help form an accurate diagnosis and create individualized treatment plans for your heart health needs. Depending on the type of heart condition you have and its underlying cause, the team can recommend a wide variety of treatment options, including lifestyle modifications, medications, and procedures. Our cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons work closely together for cases in which surgery is the best treatment option. We also offer a customized cardiac rehabilitation program at our Healthplex, where clinically appropriate, which can improve your endurance and exercise tolerance, as well as improve heart-related symptoms. Your cardiologist will work with the rehabilitation team to create a plan that will be tailored to your individual health needs.