Arterial and Venous Duplex studies are noninvasive tests used to examine blood flow through your arteries (Arterial) and veins (Venous) and detect the presence, location, and severity of blockages. Called “Duplex” because these tests combine regular ultrasound, which uses sound waves to produce images, and Doppler ultrasound, a special ultrasound technique that can evaluate the actual flow of blood.
No special preparation is required for an Arterial or Venous Duplex study, but during the procedure, you'll be asked to wear a gown and remove all jewelry. You'll lie on a table, and a gel that helps transmit the sound waves is applied to the areas being examined. A hand-held device called a “transducer,” is moved over the study area, transmitting sound waves to a computer, which converts them into images. During the test, you may actually hear the "pulsing” sound of blood moving through your body. Discomfort during an Arterial or Venous Duplex study is minimal. You may feel some pressure from the transducer pressed against your body. After testing, you can return to normal activities right away.