Renal/SMA Duplex Ultrasound | MedStar Health

Evaluating blood flow in the renal and mesenteric arteries

Your doctor may recommend a duplex ultrasound to evaluate the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys (renal arteries) and intestines (mesenteric arteries) if they suspect narrowing, aneurysms or blockages within the vessels. This exam also may be used in preparation for surgery.

A duplex ultrasound combines traditional and Doppler ultrasound. The combined imaging uses sound waves to create an image of the blood vessels and measure blood speed and flow.

What to expect during a Renal/SMA Duplex Ultrasound

Little to no preparation is needed for this test. You may be asked to not eat or drink for a certain amount of time before the exam.

You will lie on a table on your stomach or back and will need to remain still. A technician will spread gel over the area being examined to improve the transmission of sound waves to the ultrasound wand, which the technician will move over your skin. A monitor will display the images created by the sound waves and you will be able to hear the “swishing” sound of your blood created by the Doppler.

The test will likely take 30 to 45 minutes to complete and your doctor will discuss the results with you.

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Dr Brian Case listens to the heart of a patient during an office visit at MedStar Health. Both people are wearing masks.

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