An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a weakening of the wall of the aorta that causes a widening or "ballooning" of a portion of the artery. An ultrasound can diagnose an aneurysm and determine its size and location.
Signs, Symptoms and Risk Factors of an Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm:
- Pain in the chest, abdomen, lower back, and sometimes the groin or buttocks
- Pulsating mass or lump in the abdomen
- Family history of aneurysms
- Men over the age of 60 who also have a history of smoking
An arterial ultrasound exam looks at blood flow in the arteries of the arms, legs or trunk region for signs of blockages or Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).
Signs and Symptoms Indicating the Need for an Arterial Examination:
- Pain, abnormal coloring or weak or undetectable pulses in the arms or legs
- Pain or cramping of the calf, thigh or buttocks
- Severe pain in the toes or foot
- A foot or lower extremity sore or wound that does not heal
A cerebrovascular exam uses ultrasound to examine blood flow in the neck for arteries that supply the brain. The test includes evaluation of the common carotid arteries, external carotid arteries, internal carotid arteries and vertebral arteries.
Symptoms Indicating the Need for a Cerebrovascular Exam:
- Numbness, weakness or inability to move the face, arm or leg especially on one side of the body
- Trouble seeing (dimness, blurring, double vision or loss of vision)
- Difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of coordination
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
A venous evaluation uses ultrasound to evaluate blood flow and valve function in the veins of the arms and legs and can detect Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), the development of a clot in the deep veins.
Signs and Symptoms Indicating the Need for a Venous Evaluation:
- Pain, swelling or tenderness in limbs
- Bluish discoloration of the skin
- Abnormal redness of the skin
- Suspected pulmonary embolism
- Ulcers or wounds in the ankle region that have difficulty healing