Ultrasound examination of the pelvic vessels and the vessels of the extremities (arms and legs)

Duplex ultrasound testing of the pelvic vessels and the vessels of the extremities (arms and legs) is quick, easy and painless and it does not involve radiation. It is also very reliable.

What does the test involve?

Ultrasound is an excellent method for examining the vessels of the pelvis and the extremities. During the examination, the vessel wall is evaluated, along with the “intima-media complex” and the blood flow in the various vessels. Doppler ultrasound can be used to detect and measure dilatation (aneurysm) or narrowing (arteriosclerosis).

How does the test work?

The ultrasound transducer is placed on the skin over the vessels. The transducer produces images (cross-sections) of the vessels. Doppler technology transforms blood flow into both audio and visual signals. The test can be carried out in a matter of minutes. During the test, the patient lies comfortably on his or her back. The thigh vessels are tested with the patient lying on his or her stomach.

Who should be tested?

Patients at risk for arterial problems should have the vessels of the pelvis and the extremities tested at regular intervals. Testing is also performed in emergency situations, such as for peripheral artery disease. This condition may be caused by blood clots (“embolisms”) or in patients with arteriosclerosis, by arterial thrombosis. Typical signs of peripheral artery disease include severe pain, cold extremities, numbness and tingling in the extremities, restricted mobility and pale skin (often blue in color or “cyanotic”). It is important to diagnose and treat the condition quickly in order to prevent limb loss. Patients with chronic leg circulation problems report that they experience pain after they have walked a certain distance. They need to take frequent breaks, which is why in German, peripheral artery disease is sometimes referred to as “window-shopping disease.”

After surgery or stent placement, the postoperative results should be monitored regularly. In patients with a pathological condition, regular follow-up may be necessary.

Doppler ultrasound to determine vascular blood pressure

In order to detect a blood flow disorder in the arms and legs, it is helpful to determine vascular pressure. Measuring vascular pressure is non-invasive for the patient and can be performed in 5 minutes. This measurement is a routine test and is performed by our assistants.

Walk test for peripheral artery disease

A step counter is used to record the distance the patient can walk at normal speed without experiencing pain.

Treating blood flow disorders of the vessels in the pelvis and extremities (arms and legs)

The professional medical associations have drawn up guidelines for this treatment. In most cases, a blood thinner such as aspirin should be prescribed.

Surgical procedures (surgery, catheterization) should be performed at specialized centers. But in acute situations, it may be necessary to initiate treatment immediately. For chronic vascular conditions, quality of life is also important. In patients with skin wounds caused by poor arterial circulation, blood flow can be improved through surgery or catheterization performed at a specialized center. Our practice will refer you to an appropriate facility