What is a Renal Artery Duplex?
A Renal Artery Duplex Scan is an ultrasound image of the abdominal aorta and renal arteries which service the kidneys. This study looks for significant plaque within the renal arteries which can cause uncontrollable hypertension or renal failure. We also look at the kidney size and function for the possibility of renal cysts or other kidney abnormalities.
Why is a Renal Artery Ultrasound Performed?
A Renal Artery Ultrasound gives doctors information about the arteries to the kidneys 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 artery, which can cause hypertension, if the narrowing is significant
- The presence of an aneurysm, a bulging of the artery.
Renal Artery Duplex Procedure
After fasting (nothing to eat or drink, except water) for approximately 8-hours, a clear gel will be placed on your abdomen and the technologist will scan your arteries to the kidneys with a transducer (a microphone-like device) that will show pictures of the arteries and listen to the blood flow within. Feel free to bring a snack for after your test, if necessary.
When will I know the results of the Renal Artery Ultrasound?
Your doctor will review the findings of the Renal Artery 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.