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Vascular Ultrasound

Vascular Ultrasound procedures are painless, noninvasive tests that use high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to image the veins and arteries in the body.

Most vascular ultrasounds combine two types of ultrasound to produce images that show how blood is moving:

  • B mode ultrasound – High-frequency sound waves create pictures of the veins and arteries within your arms and legs.
  • Doppler ultrasound – High-frequency sound waves determine the speed and direction of blood flow in the veins and arteries.

What to expect during these exams:

  • Pulse-like noises will be heard periodically during your exam when the technologist is checking the blood flow.
  • Most Vascular Ultrasound procedures last 1-2 hours.
  • Vascular Ultrasound procedures are performed by a registered sonographer.
  • The images are reviewed by a board-certified vascular physician. You should get your results, within 5 business days, from your ordering provider.

Types of Vascular Exams Offered at KMC


A venous duplex is a vascular ultrasound that shows how blood is moving through the veins of your arms and legs. This test is commonly used to search for blood clots and to examine varicose veins in the legs. It is used to evaluate for pain and swelling in the arms or legs.


A carotid duplex involves the imaging of the arteries on each side of the neck that supply blood to the brain. It is used to evaluate symptoms including dizziness, loss of memory, stroke, loss of muscle control and other symptoms that might result from narrowing or blockages in these vessels.


An Arterial Doppler/ABI is a vascular test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) and a series of blood pressure cuffs to show and measure blood flow in the arteries of the arms and legs. The blood pressures in the legs and arms are obtained and are compared to determine if there is a decrease in the arterial blood supply. An arterial doppler/ABI is used to evaluate for symptom of leg pain while walking or non-healing sores of the legs and feet, and coldness, numbness tingling of the arms or legs.


An Arterial Duplex is an ultrasound test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to capture internal images of the major arteries in the arms and legs. It may be ordered if your physician suspects an artery is narrowed or blocked, reducing blood flow to your arms or legs. It is typically obtained for a more focused evaluation of the lower extremity arterial system such as localization of stenosis, assessment of a stent or bypass graft, and aneurysms.


An Aorta Ultrasound is used to examine the abdominal aorta, the vessel in your abdomen which leads blood away from the heart. It will be used to look for any narrowing or aneurysms (bulging) of the aorta. It is often ordered as a screening exam for a patient with a history of smoking or hypertension or to follow a known aneurysm.


A Renal Artery Duplex is used to visualize the renal arteries and measure the blood flow. The renal arteries deliver blood flow to the kidneys. Renal artery disease, including narrowing (stenosis) due to atherosclerosis, can result in reduced blood-flow to the kidney. This exam is typically ordered for hypertension which is difficult to control with medication.


A Vascular Screening exam is an ultrasound test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to evaluate the:

  • Abdominal Aorta
  • Carotid Arteries
  • Ankle-Brachial Index (blood flow in the legs).

Early detection and treatment of vascular disease can significantly reduce your risk for serious, sometimes disabling or even fatal conditions like a heart attack or stroke.

Risk factors include:

  • 50+ years old
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Smoker
  • Family History
  • Lack of Exercise

Cost is $75 for all three tests. Cash payment is due at registration for the screening exam.

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