Pheripheral arterial Doppler ultrasound (arterial arms) uses high frequency sound waves to assess the blood flow of arteries in the arms. It can be performed for a variety of conditions, including Raynaud's Syndrome and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?
- You can expect to be at the clinic between 30-60 minutes, depending on your procedure(s) and barring any unforeseen delays.
- Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow enough time to check in with reception.
- Bring photo identification and your provincial health card.
- Take all prescribed medications as directed.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Please do not bring children who require supervision.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?
- We will ask you a few questions about your symptoms and any risk factors.
- We may ask you to change your top to a short gown or t-shirt for access to your arms.
- You will be asked to lie on your back and blood pressure cuffs will be placed on both arms
- The blood pressure cuffs will inflate so the sonographer can take blood pressure readings. The cuffs may become tight but only for a few seconds.
- During the exam your sonographer will listen to your blood flow, so you will hear what sounds like your heartbeat. This is the blood moving through the artery and each artery checked has a slightly different sound.
- A warm, non-scented, hypo-allergenic ultrasound gel will then be applied to the area being scanned for the ultrasound. Usually both arms are scanned.
- A series of images is acquired to show the structure and flow of blood through the arteries.
- On occasion, it may be necessary to assess the blood flow down the arm to the fingers. For these exams, you may be asked to sit up. Small laser sensors (PPG) will be placed on the fingers and you will be asked to move your arms in a variety of positions to see if blood flow is affected. This is usually done for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
- For Raynaud's Syndrome, which is a condition that affects the colour or temperature of the fingers, you may be asked to place your hands in cold and warm water to assess the difference in blood flow. The PPG will assess blood flow after each immersion.
- The radiologist reviews the images and measurements and your doctor will receive a comprehensive report on the status of your arteries.
WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?
We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
This exam is covered under your Alberta Health Care Plan. It is not currently offered at our Saskatchewan clinic.