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Doppler study

This non-invasive method is used for measuring the blood pressure and its flow. The characteristics of the reflected waves from the body parts are used for having a clear visualization. Blockages, areas of reduced blood flow, blood cloths etc can be detected using this technique. This method can also be used to look the blood flow in the fetus during gestation period.

In such a procedure, a wand like device known as the transducer is passed over those blood vessels that need to be monitored. The amplified sound waves are sent and they are reflected by the solid objects like the blood cells. A Doppler effect is experienced when the blood cells are moved, hence the procedure name. The rate of movement is proportional to the pitch of the sound. The information obtained from the reflected waves are then processed and manipulated to provide graphs or patterns for evaluation.

There are 4 basic types of Doppler. They are:

  1. Continuous wave Doppler: In this conventional type, a change in pitch of the sound is used to provide useful information. The nature of the sound is deeply analyzed by the doctor to detect the areas that have narrowed or reduced blood flow.
  2. Duplex Doppler: In this type of Doppler test, the reflected wave is converted into a graph that gives the information about the direction and speed of the blood flow through the vessel.
  3. Color Doppler: In contrast to the other 2 methods, this method converts the features of sound into different colors. The speed and direction of the flow can be easily understood through this method. A specialized category of this test is the power Doppler. Power Doppler is very useful in detecting those portions that are virtually difficult to image. For detecting blood flow through solid organs, this is very helpful.

Doppler ultrasound method can be done for the following conditions:

  • For the examination of narrowed & blocker blood vessels.
  • For the evaluation of pain that is the result of intermittent claudication, which is a condition caused by lower-extremity atherosclerosis.
  • To analyze the flow of blood after a stroke.
  • For the examination and analysis of varicose veins.
  • To determine the presence of an arterial plaque. Such plaques can hinder the amount of blood flow through the blood vessels.
  • For monitoring the flow of blood after a surgery.