Ultrasound Types of Exams

Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. Ultrasound is not harmful and there are no side effects.  Images are obtained by placing an ultrasound transducer (a microphone) against the area of the body being imaged, and a small amount of gel is used on the area to assist the transducer in creating the images.

Types of Exams

  • Ankle-brachial (ABI) test is a simple and painless test that is highly effective in screening patients for PAD (peripheral arterial disease) and other vascular diseases. An ABI test is performed by measuring blood pressures in both of your arms and legs using a doppler ultrasound device and pressure cuffs. The registered vascular technologist will compare all four blood pressure measurements and calculate your ABI. Your results will then be reviewed by a board certified interventional radiologist to determine if PAD exists, to what extent, and what treatment options should be used.
  • Abdominal ultrasound is used to assess the gallbladder, liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys.
  • Liver elastography is a non-invasive way to stage liver fibrosis.
  • Pelvic ultrasound can be used to evaluate the uterus, ovaries, and prostate.
  • Thyroid ultrasound is used to assess the size of the thyroid gland and look for thyroid nodules.
  • Obstetric ultrasound is a good way to evaluate a growing fetus as well as visualize pelvic organs like the uterus and ovaries. 
  • Vascular ultrasound can be used to assess the arteries and veins of the body, a common exam used when looking for a blood clot in arms, legs and carotids.
  • Ultrasound-guided biopsy, drainage and aspiration uses ultrasound to guide a needle or catheter into an organ or area in the body to either drain or obtain a small sample of tissue from the body for further diagnostic testing. A pathologist examines the specimen and sends the test results to your physician.
  • Ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation uses ultrasound to guide a procedure that uses electric current to destroy a tumor.