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What is the Ultrasound With Doppler Test? Know Everything

What is the Doppler Test?

The Doppler Test, also known as the Doppler Ultrasound, is an imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves. As the name suggests, it is based on the Doppler Effect. This effect shows a change in the frequency of sound waves as they hit the object in motion. 

In this scenario, the ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves that trace the blood vessels. Because it detects motion, it determines the direction of the blood flow. It also indicates if there is a lack of blood flow in a particular area of the body. 

What are the types of Doppler Tests?

There are several kinds of Doppler tests that provide a certain kind of result. Based on your requirement, you can choose from the following:

  • Colour Doppler: This test helps in creating a coloured image. Through this, doctors can check both the speed and the direction of blood flow.
  • Power Doppler: It is a more advanced form of the colour doppler. It gives more detail about the blood flow but cannot tell its direction. 
  • Spectral Doppler: This graphs the data provided by blood flow. On this basis, any area which isn’t receiving enough blood can be recognised.
  • Duplex Doppler: It takes just an image of blood vessels. Data is graphed on that basis.
  • Continuous-wave Doppler: This test involves sending out continuous sound waves. Due to this, blood flow at a fast speed is accurately measured.

 

What is the Doppler Test used for?

We talked about how high-frequency sound waves help us visualise blood flow. This has various implications including how we use this to understand what goes on in our body. Medical professionals do an ultrasound with the Doppler Test to check for any irregularities in the bloodstream. It is especially useful for analysing blood flow to the legs, neck, and arms.

Accumulation of fat in the arteries can create blockages or make arteries narrow. A consequence of this can be Peripheral Artery Disease. People who suffer from this experience reduced blood flow to the legs. This leads to leg pain while walking.

Deep Vein Thrombosis is another condition that develops due to diminished blood flow in the legs. This is slightly different as it is caused due to a blood clot in the veins. The leg can become swollen and red, causing the patient immense discomfort. Ultrasound with Doppler Test gives a quick and accurate diagnosis for the same.

Further, it is an excellent technique to check for any cardiovascular issues. It is a regular practice for treating heart patients and those who have suffered a stroke. Ultrasound with the Doppler Test also examines any structural defects in the heart.

As for other organs, the ultrasound inspects whether they are getting the required blood flow or not. It is immensely helpful to check the spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and liver. Conditions like Stenosis (narrowing of blood vessels) and Aneurysm (bulging of arteries) can also be inspected. 

For pregnant women, this is probably not a new practice. Ultrasound with the Doppler Effect is used to ensure that the fetus is getting proper blood flow. It creates a picture of the fetus and is completely safe for the unborn baby. 

Preparation and the procedure of Doppler Ultrasound 

Ultrasound with Doppler Effect is a non-invasive procedure. This makes it completely safe and painless. If you are planning on going through this procedure, there is no need to worry. You do not have to prepare beforehand. 

However, some things must be kept in mind. Doctors warn against smoking a few hours before the test. This is because nicotine affects the way our blood vessels flow. 

Apart from this, you would be required to remove any jewellery on you. The same goes for the clothing over the area of the body being examined. So you may dress accordingly.

The producer is quite simple. This test can be done in the lab of any radiologist. All you have to do is lie down and let the professionals do their job. The area to be tested is exposed and a gel is applied over it. The doctor places a transducer on this area. This is a hand-held device that looks like a wand (yes, it is pretty much magic). It sends out high-frequency sound waves and traces the echo generated. This is recorded and displayed as images and graphs. The doctor will then wipe the gel off and you will be free to go!

An ultrasound with the Doppler Effect is a great alternative to more invasive procedures. As we develop better and faster technologies, this process keeps evolving. Medicine and science are growing. This enables us to get better results and take better care of ourselves.

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