Diagnosing Vascular Disease?
Diagnosing Venous Disease and Pulmonary Embolism
Venous disease is diagnosed using one or more of the following techniques:
|Ultrasound is a technique in which a "transducer" (a hand held device about the size of a computer mouse) is moved over the skin and harmless sound waves "bounce" back signals that are computerized to create an image. The technique is painless and has no known risk. Here, a "colorized" ultrasound image highlights the blood vessels.
Duplex or Doppler Ultrasound – This non-invasive technique
uses ultrasound to "see" clots or other abnormalities in the
CT Scan (Computed Tomography) is similar to an X-ray except
the images are computerized to appear as a series of slides. When viewed
together, the slices provide a three-dimensional image. Sometimes a special
dye, or contrast agent, is injected or swallowed before the exam to highlight
Venography is a type of X-ray (called angiography) in which
a thin, flexible tube, or catheter, is threaded into the blood vessels.
A local anesthetic is given to numb the skin where the catheter is inserted,
and X-rays are used to guide the catheter. A contrast agent, or dye, is
injected through the catheter to highlight the blood vessel and call attention
to any abnormalities. This procedure is performed by an interventional
radiologist – a specialist who diagnoses and treats many vascular
diseases and other conditions without surgery.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a noninvasive exam in
which a magnetic resonance (MR) scanner uses harmless but powerful magnetic
fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the blood vessels.
Diagnosing Pulmonary Embolism
V/Q Scan (sometimes called a V/P or ventilation/perfusion scan)
is a nuclear medicine test in which short-acting radioactive particles
are injected through a vein or breathed into the lungs. If there are areas
of the lung that do not “take up” the particles, it is an
indication that there may be a blood clot. Computed tomography (CT), chest
X-rays or venography also may be used to diagnose blood clots in the lung.