Vascular ultrasound helps in detection of early atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a diffuse, body-wide process. When plaque is found in one arterial system, such as in the heart’s coronary arteries, there is a high likelihood of finding a significant amount of plaque in other major arteries. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking increase the odds of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD)
The carotid arteries are the main arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain. Disease in the carotid arteries is a major cause of stroke. Progressive plaque accumulation in these arteries is typically silent before stroke but can easily be detected during an ultrasound examination. Significant plaque development in the carotid arteries is a risk factor for stroke. If severe obstruction of a carotid artery is found, procedures to relieve the obstruction have been shown to reduce the odds of future stroke. Total time for the test is an hour.
Arterial ultrasound uses two techniques to evaluate the blood pressure and blood flow in the arteries in your legs. These techniques are blood pressure measurement using cuffs similar to those used for arm measurements of pressure, and ultrasound (high frequency sound waves). Arterial ultrasound is performed to detect obstructions in the leg arteries. These obstructions may be causing symptoms, such as leg pain when walking or doing other forms of exercise. Total time for the test is an hour.
Venous Duplex Ultrasound:
The deep veins of the legs are the most common locations for large blood clots to develop, a condition known as “deep vein thrombosis”, or DVT. DVT may cause pain and swelling in a leg and may result in a pulmonary embolus, a condition where a portion of the DVT breaks free and travels in the blood stream to lodge in the lungs, the results of which can be fatal. Ultrasound imaging can also detect DVT with high accuracy and speed and lead to immediate treatment with blood thinners. Total time for the test is an hour.
Abdominal Aorta Ultrasound:
The abdominal aorta is also a typical location for arterial disease to develop. Disease of this major artery segment may cause its walls to weaken and stretch, resulting in a dilated, ballooning segment called an aneurysm. With further aneurysm expansion under pressure, tearing or rupture can occur, which carries a high fatality rate. Like disease in the carotid arteries, aortic aneurysm development and progression is typical silent. Aortic aneurysm is usually easily detected using ultrasound. Abnormal aorta aneurysms (AAA) are also a cause of sudden death. Total time for the test is an hour.