What is a bilateral arterial ultrasound?
An ultrasound exam uses high-frequency sound waves to measure the amount of blood flowing through your arteries and veins, specifically examining the arteries that supply blood to your limbs. Ultrasounds are non-invasive procedures that can be used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, such as blood clots, blockages, venous insufficiency, arterial occlusion (closing), abnormalities in arterial blood flow, blocked artificial bypass grafts, or damage to the arteries. "Bilateral" means that this procedure scans both sides of the body - whereas uni-lateral ultrasounds scan only one.
Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend a standard or Doppler ultrasound. Doppler ultrasounds use changes in the frequencies of sound waves to measure the speed and direction of blood flow through blood vessels. Because ultrasounds can show images in real-time, Doppler ultrasounds have taken the place of X-ray angiography as the main method of measuring blood flow through arteries. Regular ultrasounds can show blood vessels and organs in the body, but cannot measure blood flow through arterial channels.
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