The aorta is the largest artery in the body, which is responsible for carrying oxygenated blood from the heart to all the other main arteries attached to it. Aortic duplex is a non-invasive exam used to detect abdominal aortic aneurysms that could be life-threatening if they are not properly treated. Because aneurysms often develop slowly and are accompanied by few if any symptoms, many people do not know they have an aneurysm until it ruptures. This test is used to detect problems before a potentially fatal rupture.
Aortic duplex uses a combination of ultrasound technology to provide an accurate image of the aorta. Conventional ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the vessel’s structure, while Doppler ultrasound provides images of blood movement through the aorta. The examination is performed on an outpatient basis at Northwest Vascular & Vein.
During the examination, the patient lies back with the head elevated. Warm gel is placed on the skin and a handheld device known as a transducer is run across the skin over the location of the aorta. A screen records images and takes measurements for assessment by a physician after the examination. The entire procedure takes less than one hour to complete and patients may return to regular activities after the examination is over.
Aortic duplex is an important diagnostic tool for detecting potentially life-threatening medical conditions. To learn more about this exam, contact us at Northwest Vascular & Vein today.