Studying blood flow through veins and arteries can detect abnormalities

Your doctor may suggest imaging studies of your veins or arteries if you have a condition such as atherosclerosis or peripheral arterial disease, or to detect conditions such as deep vein thrombosis or venous insufficiency. Vascular studies may also be prescribed for people who have had a blood vessel graft (bypass) or stents.

A vascular imaging test uses ultrasound (sound wave) technology to measure and evaluate how well blood is flowing through your blood vessels. A trained technician uses a transducer (a device that puts out sound waves) and conductive gel to help the device glide over the area being examined. Images of the vessels are shown on a computer screen and data are provided that will help the vascular surgeon or interpreting physician interpret your results.

The types of vascular ultrasound studies we perform include:

  • Peripheral venous – To look for abnormalities or defects of the veins in the arms or legs
  • Peripheral arterial – To look for abnormalities or defects of the arteries in the arms or legs
  • Visceral vascular – To look for abnormalities or defects of the aorta and the arteries that supply blood to the intestines, kidneys and legs
  • Extracranial (carotid ultrasound) – To look for abnormalities or defects of the carotid arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain
  • Transcranial Doppler* – To measure how quickly blood flows through the brain's blood vessels

*Not all services are available at all Main Line Health locations.

These studies are performed by specially trained and registered vascular imaging technicians and your results are reviewed by physicians skilled in diagnosis, testing and/or treatment of vascular diseases and disorders.

To schedule a vascular imaging appointment at Main Line Health, call 484.580.1800.