What is a Arterial Doppler Study?

An arterial Doppler study is a noninvasive, painless study used to assess the blood flow and pressure within the arteries using high frequency sound waves.

Why do I need it?

An arterial Doppler may be used to diagnose a variety of conditions including:
  • Detecting the presence of blood clots
  • Arterial occlusion
  • Decreased blood flow to the arms or legs due to peripheral vascular disease
  • Aneurysm
  • Vascular tumor

What is the risk?

No risks are associated with this study.

No radiation exposure is used during this study.

How do I prepare for the study?

No specific preparation is required. You may follow your daily eating habits before and after the study.

Clothing will need to be removed over the area being examined.

What happens during the study?

You will lie on a table while a trained ultrasound technician applies a clear jelly over the desired area. A probe is used to glide over this jelly which helps in transmission of sound waves through the skin.

Two blood pressure cuffs are applied over the limb being studied. Each cuff is inflated one at a time. Inflation is done to determine the pressure within the artery and to detect the moment blood flow is returned to the vessel.

Blood pressures can be measured at different levels to assess arterial narrowing or occlusion. These readings are used to determine the site and size of arterial narrowing.

The study lasts up to 1 hour.

What happens after the study?

After the study is over, the jelly is wiped off and you may return to your daily activities.

The result:

The results of the test will show either a normal or abnormal study.

A normal study shows normal blood flow and pressure.

An abnormal study shows reduced blood flow and high pressure.

This will help diagnose atherosclerotic (narrowing due to plaque) changes.