What is Doppler ultrasound?

Doppler ultrasound, or Doppler ultrasound, is a medical imaging technique that uses Doppler-enhanced ultrasound. The Doppler effect generally uses a change in the pitch of sound waves that are measured by an ultrasound receiving device such as a transducer. Colored Doppler images often provide useful information about the flow and movement of blood and internal areas of the body. This technique is commonly used during pregnancy to provide detailed images of a developing unborn baby. Other uses for Doppler ultrasound may include visual examinations of tendons, joints, and muscles, as well as internal organs.

Pregnant women may undergo ultrasound for a number of reasons, including measurement of blood flow through the umbilical cord, as well as evaluation of the unborn baby's heart or brain. This test usually shows the size of a developing fetus and can provide information about the health of the fetus, such as the amount of oxygen received. Doctors can identify health conditions in some pregnant mothers, such as sickle cell anemia or preeclampsia, with the help of this test.

Some doctors have patients undergo Doppler ultrasound to investigate a number of medical conditions. Patients with leg pain may present with intermittent claudication and atherosclerosis that may show up on a Doppler ultrasound image in some cases. Varicose veins and other blood vessel abnormalities can be investigated with this form of ultrasound. Blood clots and blood flow blockages can be identified with Doppler ultrasound in some cases. Some doctors use this form of ultrasound to provide images to guide their work during surgical procedures, such as ablation of blood vessels.

A patient usually lies on their back or side during an ultrasound. Medical professionals typically apply a special Doppler gel to the skin near an area where imaging is desired. A transducer is typically placed against gel-covered skin and moved to obtain Doppler ultrasound images from various desired angles. Most Doppler ultrasound tests are completed in 30 to 60 minutes. Doctors may recommend that patients not wear jewelry during a test to reduce the chance of image distortion.

In some cases, patients have unreliable results from a Doppler ultrasound due to various factors. Patients who do not remain still during the procedure while the images are being recorded can cause the images to become distorted. In some cases, the bones of the body can block the ultrasound signals used during the test. Reliable ultrasound images may be more difficult to obtain in obese individuals, and irregular heart rhythms can cause abnormal images of blood vessels.

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