Arterial Doppler Exam
An Arterial Doppler
evaluates the arterial blood flow of the body. It is used many times to
evaluate the arteries of the legs.
It may be ordered when
there is suspicion on exam or with symptoms suggestive of blockage of the
There is no radiation for
this test as it uses sound waves and pressure cuffs
HOW IS THE EXAMINATION PERFORMED?
- For this test, you will lie on your back with
a small pillow under your head.
- Your blood pressure will be taken in both
- Then a small ultrasound transducer will be
placed on the femoral artery in each leg, to record waveforms caused by the
flow of blood through the artery.
- The transducer will also be placed over 3
arteries in each ankle to measure blood flow by ultrasound and waveforms.
- After these waveforms are recorded, four cuffs
will be placed on your legs at different levels.
- These cuffs will be inflated, one at a time,
while the transducer is over an ankle artery.
- Blood pressures can be measured at each level
to determine the presence or absence of arterial narrowing or occlusion. Small
cuffs are also placed on a toe of each foot to obtain toe pressures.
- All of these pressures are used to determine
how much and the location of arterial narrowing.
- This test, at times, can be uncomfortable due
to tight blood pressure cuffs.
For most Doppler exams, there is no preparation involved.
Allow approximately 1 hour to completely
finish your examination.
To allow adequate concentration for the
sonographer to give you the best examination possible, no children will
be allowed in the examination room. Please make baby-sitting
arrangements if you can.
When your examination is completed, the
radiologist will interpret the images.
The results will be explained to you by
your doctor when he receives the results several days later.
- Make sure your bring your requisition that was given to
you (unless faxed prior)
- Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the
test and first check in at the information desk in the main lobby in order to
- Once registered, go directly to the Cardiopulmonary Department which is
located on the second floor.
- Please call (540)636-0280 if questions.
Unless otherwise noted: this document was originated by, reviewed and/or edited by Tripp Bradd, MD
current revision/review: 8/26/2008