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Ultrasound Exam & Prep

All Ultrasound Exams will be performed by a registered cardiac/vascular sonographer. The images will be interpreted by a board certified cardiologist and a report will be given to your referring provider.

Echocardiogram

Prep: None

An ultrasound of the heart is a safe noninvasive procedure used to diagnose cardiovascular disease. It uses high frequency sound waves and color-flow technology to visualize the anatomy, structure and function of the heart muscle. It can diagnose the presence and severity of heart valve problems, the thickness of the chamber walls, the great blood vessels entering and leaving the heart, establish an ejection fraction % (EF) (an estimate of how much blood is being pumped out of the left ventricle with each heartbeat), and will determine if there is any fluid collecting around the heart.

Stress Echocardiogram

Prep: WEAR Comfortable shoes and pants as you will be walking on a treadmill. Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam. No caffeine or nicotine the day of your exam. If you are taking a beta blocker, or any other medication that slows your heart rate, you should NOT take this medicine for 24 hours prior to you test, unless your physician instructs you otherwise. It is fine to take all of your other medications. If you are a diabetic, make sure your blood sugar is adequate prior to exercise.

This test is performed to evaluate exercise tolerance and assess change in heart function, which can indicate if there is a blockage in one of the coronary arteries. The technician will obtain pre-exercise images of the heart using ultrasound. Next, the patient will walk on the treadmill until they reach their target heart rate. Immediately following exercise, we will obtain post-exercise images and compare the resting images to the stress images. Blood pressure, EKG, and heart rate response are monitored throughout the test.

Carotid Duplex

Prep: Wear a shirt/blouse that is open at the collar. Do not wear a turtleneck.

An ultrasound that visually demonstrates the right and left carotid arteries for any areas of vessel narrowing by disease and resultant altered blood flow to the brain, which is a major cause of stroke. Doppler ultrasound is also used to determine peak blood flow velocities and waveforms.

Venous Duplex

Prep: None

An ultrasound that obtains images and corresponding Doppler information of the upper or lower extremities that will evaluate for Deep vein Thrombus (DVT) or blood clots in the veins. A water-based gel will be applied to the extremity and a technologist will guide a transducer (a small probe similar to a microphone) over the gel. The technologist will perform light compression and light squeezing of the extremity to check for blow flow and blood direction.

Abdominal Aorta Duplex

Prep: The patient is required to follow simple dietary instructions in an attempt to reduce intestinal gas that can interfere with this test. The patient must be strictly fasting with nothing to eat or drink, including water, after midnight. Also, the patient is to take one Gas X (simethicone) the night before the exam and one Gas X the morning of the exam.

An ultrasound that obtains images and corresponding Doppler flow information of the aorta, and major branch origins. This study helps to identify non-symptomatic aneurysms and/or flow impeding arterial disease.

Renal Artery Duplex

Prep: The patient is required to follow simple dietary instructions in an attempt to reduce intestinal gas that can interfere with this test. The patient must be strictly fasting with nothing to eat or drink, including water, after midnight. Also, the patient is to take one Gas X (simethicone) the night before the exam and one Gas X the morning of the exam.

Obtains ultrasound images and corresponding Doppler flow information of the aorta and renal arteries, and measures the size of the kidneys. A flow-reducing blockage in a renal artery raises the blood pressure in some patients.

Peripheral Arterial Duplex

Prep: None

Obtains ultrasound images and corresponding Doppler flow information of the upper and lower extremity arteries. This study visually demonstrates areas of vessel narrowing and resultant altered blood flow. Doppler ultrasound is used to measure peak blood flow velocities and waveforms.