Why It Is Done
Reference Doppler ultrasound Opens New Window is done to:
- Find blood clots and blocked or narrowed blood vessels in almost any part of the body, especially in the neck, arms, and legs.
- Evaluate leg pain that may be caused by Reference intermittent claudication Opens New Window, a condition caused by Reference atherosclerosis Opens New Window of the lower extremities.
- Evaluate blood flow after a stroke or other condition that might be caused by a problem with blood flow. Evaluation of a stroke can be done through a technique called transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasound.
- Evaluate abnormal veins causing Reference varicose veins Opens New Window or other problems.
- Map veins that may be used for blood vessel grafts. It also can check the condition of grafts used to bypass blockage in an arm or leg.
- Find out the amount of blood flow to a transplanted kidney or liver.
- Monitor the flow of blood following blood vessel surgery.
- Find out the presence, amount, and location of arterial Reference plaque Opens New Window. Plaque in the carotid arteries can reduce blood flow to the brain and may increase the risk of stroke.
- Guide treatment such as laser or radiofrequency ablation of abnormal veins.
- Check the health of a fetus. Blood flow in the
Reference umbilical cord, Opens New Window through the
Reference placenta Opens New Window, or in the heart and brain of the fetus may
be checked. This test can show if the fetus is getting enough oxygen and
nutrients. Doppler ultrasound may be used to guide decisions during pregnancy
- The fetus is smaller than normal for his or her gestational age (fetal growth restriction). Blood flow through the large blood vessel in the umbilical cord (the umbilical artery) can be looked at.
- Reference Rh sensitization Opens New Window has occurred. Blood flow through a blood vessel in the brain (the middle cerebral artery, or MCA) can be used to monitor fetal health.
- The mother has other problems, such as Reference preeclampsia Opens New Window or Reference sickle cell disease Opens New Window.
A transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) may be used in children with sickle cell disease to evaluate their risk of stroke. In adults, TCD can be used to evaluate blood flow in the brain.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 5, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology