Venous Ultrasound

What is a venous ultrasound?

This test uses ultrasound to look at the blood flow in the large veins in the arms and legs.  

Why is this test performed?

This test is done as a preliminary step to look at the veins. Sometimes, venography may be required later. A venous ultrasound is performed to help diagnose:
-Blood clot (deep vein thrombosis)
-Venous insufficiency
A normal result means that the blood vessels show no signs of narrowing, clots, or closure. An abnormal results may be due to:
-Blood clot in a vein
-Venous occlusion
-Deep venous thrombosis
-Superficial thrombophlebitis
-Thromboangiitis obliterans

How is this test performed?

During the exam, a water-soluble gel is placed on a handheld device called a transducer. This device directs high-frequency sound waves to the veins being tested.
Blood pressure cuffs may be placed around various parts of the body, including the thigh, calf, ankle, and different points along the arm.
Images are created as the transducer is moved over each area.

What should I expect during this test?

Upper and lower extremity venous ultrasound is a non-invasive examination. The sonographer performing the test may need to press down on the vein to make sure it does not have a blood clot. This pressure can cause slight pain.

How do I prepare for this test?

You will need to remove clothes from the arm or leg being examined.

What are the risks associated with a venous ultrasound?

There are no risks from this procedure.