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Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Vascular Sonography

What Is Vascular Sonography?

Abdominal AortaVascular sonography is the process of using high-pitched sound waves to study the blood vessels of the body. An ultrasound image is a useful way of evaluating the body's circulatory system. Ultrasound images are captured in real-time, so they can help radiologists monitor the blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body, as well as evaluate the placement and success of repair, such as after arterial bypass surgery. With ultrasound images, radiologists can locate and identify blockages (stenosis) and abnormalities like blood clots, plaque or emboli, and help plan for their effective treatment. Vascular technologists assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of disorders affecting the vascular system (excluding the heart).

What Is a Vascular Sonogram?

  • Carotid with DopplerUltrasound instrumentation is most commonly used, transmitting high frequency sound waves into the body and reflecting off the vessels of interest. The reflected sound waves are processed to form high resolution, two-dimensional images of the blood vessels (2D B-mode imaging) and/or to measure the speed and direction of the blood (Doppler Ultrasound). Instruments with the capability of acquiring both ultrasound imaging and Doppler information are referred to as duplex scanners.
  • The blood vessels most often studied are the vessels of the abdomen (visceral ultrasound), the arteries leading up the neck and into the brain (cerebrovascular ultrasound), and the veins and arteries of the legs and arms (peripheral ultrasound).
  • Visceral Vascular Ultrasound is a blood flow (Doppler ultrasound) study. Duplex technology has the ability to create ultrasound images of the blood vessels. This method also allows the speed of blood flow   to be determined within these vessels. Using this Method, physicians can diagnose atherosclerosis or thickening of blood vessel’s wall, renovascular hypertension due to stenosis within renal arteries, and aneurysm or weakening of arterial walls.
  • Cerebrovascular Ultrasound: This test involves the technician placing an ultrasound probe over the great vessels of the head and neck. It provides information on whether there is a narrowing in the carotid arteries which supply blood to the brain. A carotid duplex ultrasound is performed to evaluate symptoms, including dizziness, loss of memory, stroke, loss of muscle control and other findings that might result from narrowing or blockage of the vessels (carotid arteries) on either side of the neck.
  • Peripheral Arterial ultrasound: In this study, sound waves are used to listen to blood flow (Doppler ultrasound) or image the arteries to obtain information about arterial blood flow in the extremities. Exercise may be included in the test to assess the tolerance, limitation, and symptoms experienced with exercise.
  • Peripheral Venous Doppler Ultrasound: This study involves the assessment of the veins of either the arms, legs. This study involves the assessment of the veins of either the arms or legs. The most common reason for a venous ultrasound exam is to search for blood clots, especially in the veins of the leg. These clots may break off and pass into the lungs, where they can cause a dangerous condition called pulmonary embolism. If found in time, there are treatments that can prevent this from happening.


Main Portal Vein and Hepatic Artery Society for Vascular Ultrasound web-page represents the best interests of SVU members and promote quality vascular ultrasound services by providing educational, scientific and literary activities to our members, patients and the public.

The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography was founded in 1970 to promote, advance, and educate its members and the medical community in the science of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography promotes quality care and patient safety through the certification and continuing competency of ultrasound professionals.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is the largest programmatic/specialized accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2000 educational programs in twenty-one (21) health science occupations across the United States and Canada.

Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography The mission of the JRC-DMS and its sponsoring organizations is to cooperate to establish, maintain, and promote appropriate standards of quality for educational programs in diagnostic medical sonography and to provide recognition for educational programs that meet or exceed the standards.

For more information about earning potential and work environments for sonographer visit The Inside Scoop

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