Doppler Ultrasound of the Arm or Leg

A doppler ultrasound exam is typically conducted in your Carterville, GA radiology or ultrasound department, if not in a peripheral vascular lab. The test is done to diagnose blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, arteriosclerosis of the arms or legs, venous insufficiency, superficial thrombophlebitis, and vascular tumors of the legs or arms. If you have varicose veins your doctor may schedule this examine as well. In some cases, a doppler ultrasound exam is done to monitor arterial reconstruction or injury to an artery.

To examine your leg veins or varicose veins via a doppler ultrasound exam your technician will cover a hand-held instrument, called a transducer, with a water-soluble gel. The transducer, along with the gel, will deliver high-frequency sound waves to your veins or arteries being tested in order to evaluate the blood flow. Images will be created during the doppler ultrasound. During the doppler ultrasound exam, the technician may place blood pressure cuffs around the thigh, calf, ankle, or arm. There are no known risks related to this procedure.

Results of a Doppler Ultrasound Exam

A normal result to this examination means that the blood vessels that were examined displayed no indication of closure or narrowing. Additionally, a normal result indicates that the arteries are showing normal blood pressure. Abnormal results can be due to a number of causes, such as:

  • Blockage in an artery (caused by a blood clot, air bubble, or piece of fat)
  • Blood clot in the vein or artery
  • Closing of the vein (Venous Occlusion)
  • Arterial Contractions brought on by emotion or cold (Spastic Arterial Disease)

Because nicotine may cause your arteries in your extremities to constrict, cigarette smoking may impact the test results.

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