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Testing blood flow, so-called Doppler ultrasonography (Doppler ultrasound) allows to detect the causes of disturbances in the blood supply to individual parts of the body.

In a well-functioning organism, this system is very efficient. However, it is worse when there are obstacles in the form of a narrowing or a blood clot in the blood vessels. It can detach and block the artery, which in turn can lead to a stroke. That is why early detection of even minor diseases ofarteriesandveinsis so important. This enables a non-invasive and painlesstestusing the so-called Doppler effect.

What is a Doppler ultrasound?

This is a type of ultrasound that allows you to assess the vascular flow. The Doppler effect changes the frequency of the ultrasound wave after reflection from a moving medium. In this examination, the ultrasound machine. registers the frequency changes of this wave reflected from the flowing blood and displays it on the monitor. The blood is visible inside the vessels in various shades of red and blue. It is also possible to accurately measure the velocity of blood flow. This method can also be used to assess the blood supply to internal organs, especially those lying in the abdominal cavity (liver, spleen, kidneys). The examination allows to detect not only any vascular changes, but also tumors, as they are usually very supplied with blood.

What can be tested with a Doppler ultrasound?

Carotid arteries - the device records the speed of blood flow and atherosclerotic changes. The degree of vasoconstriction is given as a percentage. People with 70 percent less arterial lumen are particularly at risk of stroke. In this case, an operation to unblock the vessels is necessary. After a successful procedure, the risk of stroke drops significantly.


A he althy man has about five liters of blood and a woman four liters. The time of its flow through the circulatory system lasts from 25 seconds - the longer it is, the worse the condition of the vessels. It can therefore be said that the body has to do extremely hard work to supply blood with oxygen to the farthest corners of the body. This is because the lack of oxygen leads to the death of cells. In transporting blood, however, the heart and blood vessels that resemble a system of highways and roads do the hardest work. The arteries drain and the veins carry blood to the heart. On the other hand, there is a dense network of tiny capillaries between themcarries blood to all tissues.

Subclavian arteries - for them e.g. the circulation in the hands depends.

Heart - Doppler examination is important in the diagnosis of valvular defects (e.g. regurgitation) or interventricular leak. They are often combined with the so-called an echo of the heart. Instead of a radiologist, they are performed by a cardiologist who is better prepared to assess disorders of this organ.

Abdominal organs - especially the liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys. The test helps to detect in them, among others damage, inflammatory changes. It is worth knowing that a Doppler is not needed to detect an abdominal aortic aneurysm, an ordinary ultrasound is enough. The doctor performing such an examination should examine the aorta for the presence of an aneurysm.

Sex organs - especially in men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. The test detects obstruction of the arteries (most often atherosclerotic) through which the blood flows to the genitals. It also reveals varicose veins, which are the cause of infertility.

Legs - the entire length of the arteries, from the groin to the ankle, is checked for strictures or occluded areas. The basic group of patients are smokers, overweight people, people with hypertension, diabetes and varicose veins. On the other hand, when examining the veins, the radiologist looks for a collateral circulation and the formation of blood clots, especially in the deep venous system. This information is needed when making surgery decisions. They also indicate which dishes need to be removed.

Neoplastic lesions and tumors - they are more vascularized and characterized by greater blood flow (they are much better nourished and therefore grow faster). With the help of a Doppler, the blood flow in the lymph nodes is assessed, the tumors of the liver and kidneys are differentiated, determining them in terms of malignancy. It is also possible to select those that require a biopsy from among many thyroid nodules. They are distinguished by the fact that they have more blood vessels.

Preparation for Doppler ultrasound

Doppler examinations are not performed in every ultrasound room, because not all ultrasound machines can be fitted with a Doppler accessory. Apart from the examination of the liver and renal arteries, which require an empty stomach, others do not require any special preparation. There are also no age restrictions. This is because the test can also be used by children and elderly people. The patient takes off his clothes enough to reveal the part of the body being examined. The doctor moistens it with a special gel and places the ultrasound head on it. After the initial assessment of the appearance of the vessels, the Doppler part, i.e. blood flow test, begins. After its completion, you can receive the result from the doctor. He describes vall noticed changes, their location and appearance. In the case of e.g. artery stenosis, it is important to know the speed of blood flow in this place and in the vessel above.

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