What is a Lower Extremity Arterial Duplex?
A Lower Extremity Arterial Duplex Study is an ultrasound image of the arteries or arterial bypass grafts in the lower portion of the body from the distal abdominal aorta to the tibial arteries (ankle level). In addition to vessel blockage, the upper and lower extremity arterial duplex studies are used to detect any enlargement which is the result of an aneurysm. An aneurysm is a bulge in an artery caused by a weakening in the vessel wall.
Why is a Lower Extremity Arterial Duplex done?
A Lower Extremity Arterial Ultrasound gives doctors information about the arteries in the
legs, such as:
- The blood flow through the arteries
- The presence of plaque, a sticky substance that clings to the arterial wall that can cause narrowing within the arteries
- The presence of an aneurysm, a bulging of the artery
- Evaluate previous surgeries including stents and bypass grafts.
What can I expect during the Lower Arterial Duplex?
You will be asked to remove your shoes, socks and pants. A gown will be placed across your lower body. A clear gel will be placed on your legs and the technologist will scan your legs with a transducer (a microphone-like device) that will show a moving picture of the arteries and listen to the blood flow within.
When will I know the results of my test?
Your cardiologist will review the findings of the Lower Extremity Arterial Ultrasound with you at your next office visit. Make sure you have a follow-up appointment scheduled as the results of this test cannot be given over the telephone.