Echocolordoppler (assessment exams)

Content

Introduction

Introduction

The ecocolordoppler is a rapid (15-30 minutes) and non-invasive examination that allows to detect anomalies or diseases using sound waves with a frequency higher than that of hearing of about 20 kHz (ultrasound).

It produces color images of the main blood vessels found in the body:

  • arteries, apparently red in color at sight, they carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues of the whole organism
  • veins, apparently blue in color, carry oxygen-poor blood from the tissues to the heart

The analysis of the images produced by the ecocolordoppler allows to evaluate in real time the speed and direction of the blood flow, highlighting numerous diseases, both in children and adults, which, although not causing particular disturbances (symptoms), over time could become severe, disabling or fatal.

The ecocolordoppler of the lower limbs it allows to evaluate the functionality of the leg veins and the possible presence of obstructions (thrombi). Furthermore, it allows to verify if the direction of the blood flow has, or not, an inverse trend compared to normal (reflux). The examination is recommended for people who have veins that are no longer able to push (drain) the blood upwards, ie people with venous insufficiency or incontinence, a condition that occurs with swollen legs and dilated and exhausted veins (varicose veins).

The "Doppler ultrasound of the carotid arteries, the arteries that run along the sides of the neck and supply blood to the brain, highlight:

  • the presence of narrowings (strictures) which cause less blood to reach the brain
  • the presence of real "encrustations" on the internal walls of the carotids (atheromatous plaques) which could obstruct them or release small fragments directed towards the brain and potentially responsible for cerebral strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA) since stenosis and atheromatous plaques (deposits of fat, cells and connective tissue that form a fibrous hood) often do not cause particular discomfort or disorders (symptoms), but can suddenly lead to cerebral strokes or transient ischemic attacks, i.e. disabling and sometimes fatal diseases

If you have risk factors that predispose to the onset of cardiovascular diseases (smoking, diabetes, arterial hypertension, hypercholesterolemia) it is advisable to perform an echocolordoppler, for the first time, around the age of 50. Based on the result obtained, the specialist doctor will decide if and when to carry out the next check.

The ecocolordoppler of the heart transmits on the screen, in real time, the images of the heart allowing to evaluate its structure, to verify the functioning of the four chambers that compose it, of the heart valves and to visualize the blood flow. The investigation is recommended for people who are particularly predisposed or already affected by some heart diseases such as, for example, arterial hypertension, suspected pericardial effusion, ischemic heart disease, heart murmur, valve stenosis, infective endocarditis, dyspnea or with a family history of genetic cardiovascular disease.

The Doppler ultrasound of the thyroid gland it allows to study the vascularization of the glandular tissue and of any nodules present. The states of diffuse hypervascularization of the thyroid tissue can suggest the presence of autoimmune diseases, while an accentuated vascularization of a nodule can constitute a further element to ascertain whether it is malignant in nature. The investigation is recommended, after medical advice, to detect any thyroid nodules, the syndrome of thyroid goiter and as a periodic check-up to be performed after surgery on the thyroid.

The ecocolordoppler of the testis allows to identify the abnormal dilation of blood vessels (varicocele) which can be the cause of treatable infertility.

The test

The test

The ecocolordoppler test is a rapid, painless, non-invasive test and does not require any type of preparation. Since it uses ultrasound, sound waves that are not harmful to humans with a frequency higher than that of hearing (about 20 kHz), it can be used as a routine investigation to ascertain (diagnose) and monitor many diseases over time.

To run it:

  • an ultrasound machine is used, consisting of a computer, a screen and a transducer
  • the person who has to undergo the examination is made to lie down a thick gel is spread on a bed and on the part of the body to be investigated, which causes a slight sensation of cold. The presence of the gel improves contact between the skin and the probe and facilitates the transmission of sound waves
  • the physician performing the test swipes the instrument probe back and forth (transducer) on the area to be examined. During this phase, a completely painless pressure may be felt. The transducer sends the imperceptible high-frequency sound waves to the part of the body to be investigated and transfers the returning echoes to the computer which will then appear on the monitor.

The "ecocolordoppler" comes from the meeting of two methods: ultrasound and doppler. In a classic ultrasound exam, when waves meet internal organs, they bounce and change direction. The transducer detects these changes in the form of “returning echoes”, which can be perceived as a rustle. They are sent to the computer which, on the basis of their amplitude and frequency, produces the image of the organ concerned, subsequently projected on the screen.

In particular, in ecocolordoppler the physical principle of the Doppler effect is exploited (by Christian Andreas Doppler who first analyzed it in 1845) and the effect of ultrasound on the structures of the body in motion is studied. In fact, when these waves meet the red blood cells that flow inside the blood vessels, the sound waves are reflected back. These variations are picked up by the transducer and sent to the computer. Doppler devices work by comparing the emitted and reflected frequencies and measuring the difference; from this measurement it is possible to trace the blood velocity. In addition, the computer attributes the red color to the blood flow going to the probe (the one flowing through the arteries), and the blue color to the flow away from the probe (the one flowing through the veins). You get a "colored image, that is a" standard ultrasound image of the part of the body under study that allows you to study the speed and direction of the blood flow of the vessel that supplies that area.

Results

Results

The observation and interpretation of the obtained colored images allow to ascertain (diagnose) a disease in real time.

From a first observation it is possible to develop first of all a "qualitative analysis of the flow: a very intense red or a very intense blue will respectively indicate the presence of a very fast and flowing arterial or venous flow. colors in the vessel suggests that the flow is turbulent due to, for example, a narrowing of the space available in the vessel (a stenosis).

We remind you that any image or value obtained must be viewed by a specialist doctor for the correct evaluation of the results and conclusions. The experience and competence of the doctor who performs the Doppler ultrasound, as also happens for the ultrasound and other investigations, are decisive for the correct diagnosis. For this reason, these tests are defined operator-dependent, that is influenced by the ability of the doctor who performs them.

In-depth link

In-depth link


Meola M. The doppler in clinical practice. Semeiotics and interpretative bases of the doppler signal

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