During an abdominal aorta scan, the mobile technologist uses two types of ultrasound to systematically interrogate the entire length of the abdominal aorta. He or she will also create images of the common iliac arteries. The most frequent reason for ordering an abdominal aorta scan to check for the presence of an enlargement in the aorta that indicates an aneurysm.
The interpreting physician will examine the ultrasound reports, including the aortic and common iliac velocity measurements produced by Doppler ultrasound imaging, for evidence of blood-flow abnormalities. The physician will also study the abdominal aorta scan for visual evidence of a bulge in the aortic wall and report the size and exact location of the aneurysm. (The mesenteric and renal arteries are not evaluated during this study.)
The abdominal aorta scan is safe and painless. The patient lies motionless on his or her back while the mobile technologist creates ultrasound images of the abdomen. The abdominal aorta scan should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Common indications for ordering an abdominal aorta scan include:
- Tobacco Use
- Advanced Coronary Disease
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm without Rupture
- Abdominal Pain