A renal artery ultrasound, also known as renal artery duplex, is a type of medical imaging that uses sound waves to examine the renal arteries. The renal arteries can become narrowed, which may lead to hypertension and kidney failure. By using ultrasound, the medical professional can assess the blood flow and velocities through these arteries, as well as visualize the abdominal aorta to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms..
In general, there is no special preparation needed for a renal artery ultrasound. However, your healthcare provider may provide specific instructions depending on your individual situation. Here are some general guidelines:
A Renal Artery Ultrasound, also known as a renal artery duplex, is often performed in individuals with hypertension to examine the renal arteries. These arteries are responsible for supplying blood to the kidneys, and if they become narrowed due to stenosis or plaque buildup, it can lead to high blood pressure. The ultrasound can help screen for the condition of the arteries, detect any blockages or plaque buildup that may cause narrowing, and also assess for any aneurysms in the abdominal aorta.
The renal artery duplex scan procedure involves the use of an ultrasound probe to examine your kidneys and the arteries that supply blood to them. The technician will view the images on a computer screen during the scan. As the technician places the transducer on your abdomen, you may feel some pressure, but the exam is painless and non-invasive. Typically, the exam takes about 10 minutes to complete.
After a renal artery ultrasound, the healthcare providers will review the images obtained during the exam. They will evaluate the condition of the renal arteries, including the presence of plaque or blockages, and assess the integrity of the vessels. Depending on the results, further 3D imaging may be required. The exam may also reveal incidental findings such as kidney cysts or stones, which may require further evaluation with a dedicated renal/kidney ultrasound. In this case, you would be advised to follow up with a nephrologist or urologist.
There are no known risks associated with renal artery ultrasound. It is a non-invasive, safe, and painless procedure that uses sound waves to produce images of the renal arteries and kidneys. Unlike other imaging tests that use radiation or contrast agents, renal artery ultrasound does not involve any exposure to harmful radiation or substances. It is considered a low-risk procedure, and any discomfort or pressure felt during the exam is temporary and typically goes away after the procedure.
Yes, there are related tests to a renal artery ultrasound, including: