Anabdominal ultrasound is a procedure that is used by medics inassessing organs and structures that are within the abdomen. Theprocedure is purely non-invasive, only using a transducer that sendsout waves at an extremely high frequency that makes it inaudible. Thetechnology allows the procedure to take place from outside the body.Once the transducer is placed on the patient’s skin, the ultrasoundwaves move to the structures and organs through the body. Thegallbladder, liver, spleen, bile ducts and abdominal aorta are someof the organs which can be assessed using the abdominal ultrasound.The Doppler ultrasound is another type of ultrasound that shows thespeed as well as the blood flow direction in the abdomen. Unlike thestandard ultrasound whose sounds are inaudible, those made duringDoppler ultrasound are audible (Pozniak & Allan, 2013).
Accordingto Pozniak & Allan (2013), the abdominal Doppler exam isassociated with particular problems no problemt experienced inperipheral vascular exams. These may include assessments of theaorta, inferior vena cava and their associated vessels.
Cardiacpulsation and respiratory movements often impair the ultrasoundexamination. As a result, the medical examiner could be tempted toget the patient to temporarily suspend respiration for some amount oftime. However, this gives rise to relative hypoxia, often resultingin increased respiratory movement. It is therefore more advisable tocarry out the procedure during quiet respiration, and only requestthe patient to hold their breath for short periods. Mostly, theassessment can be completed within two or three cardiac cycles.
DuringDoppler examination, vessels may appear to be orientated at rightangles to the scan plane. This especially happens with curved orsector linear transducers. To correct this anomaly, the examinercould try different angles of repositioning the patient as well asthe transducer in a bid to improve the angle.
Anotherissue that could obscure a vessel is the presence of bowel gas. Itmay also cause a distraction in motion artifacts as it bubbles past.Due to this, it is advisable to perform the procedure following anovernight fast to improve the situation. An injection of hyoscinecould also alleviate the gas problem (Ponziak & Allan, 2013).
Pozniak,M.A. & Allan, P.A. (2013). Clinical Doppler Ultrasound: ExpertConsult: Online. Elsevier Health Sciences.