Doppler Ultrasound

Doppler Ultrasound: for detecting abnormal blood flow

Diagnostic tests for heart diseases

Heart Diseases

A Doppler ultrasound or Doppler echocardiography is an imaging test used to assess the blood flow through the heart and the blood vessels. It is also recommended to detect any abnormalities in the blood flow throughout the body, evaluating cardiac valve functions, and identify leaky valves.

This test is frequently done to examine the children’s hearts for heart disease and see how well blood flows after treatment. Evaluating the blood vessels for narrowed arteries and aneurysms are the other conditions for which this test is done.

How is Doppler Ultrasound performed? :

Doppler Echocardiography Test

A Doppler ultrasound test is generally done in the ultrasound or radiology department or a peripheral vascular lab. The patient is asked to lie on a table exposing only the area being examined. The body part could be the arm, leg, neck, or chest.

A special water-soluble gel is applied over the part of the body that is being tested. The gel improves the sound quality. A handheld device called a transducer is then moved over this area. It transmits very high-frequency sound waves into the patient’s body. These waves are bounced off by the heart and blood vessels. They are then recorded and turned into images or graphs on a monitor.

Sometimes, the patient may hear swishing or pulse-like sounds during the procedure. This sound is produced due to changes in the pitch of the sound waves caused by the movement of the blood cells. The technician may also monitor the patient’s blood pressure during the test. The gel is wiped off after the test.

This test can assess blood flow and also detect the direction and velocity of blood flow in the heart. To get this information, the doctor suggests a color Doppler ultrasound instead of the standard one. The blood that flows towards the transducer generally appears red, while that which flows away appears blue.

Are there any risks involved in it? :

This test is a painless, non – invasive procedure that has no risks associated with it. It is considered to be safe for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women.

FAQs: Doppler Ultrasound

What are preparations required from the patient? The patient is asked to remove any jewelry or metal objects from the area being tested. He/she must refrain from smoking for at least 2 hours before the test as nicotine may narrow the blood vessels and produce false results.

How long does it take?  It takes around 30 to 60 minutes to get a Doppler ultrasound done.

Who performs it? It is generally performed by a sonographer or ultrasound technician, or technologist.

How much does it cost? The cost of a standard Doppler ultrasound ranges from Rs. 1500 to 3K while that of a color Doppler ultrasound lies around Rs. 1500 to 7K.

When can I go home after the procedure? The patient can go home and resume normal activities immediately after the test. 

References:

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