What is Colourflow duplex ultrasound imaging?
Colourflow duplex scanning is non-invasive and entirely pain-free, allowing real-time imaging of arteries and veins with an assessment of the direction and speed of blood flow. Three types of ultrasound are used in combination to produce fully dynamic information of blood flow and surrounding tissue.
Greyscale ultrasound imaging
Ultrasound is reflected to varying degrees depending on the nature of the tissue. In general, ultrasound passes through fluids giving a ‘black’ appearance but different tissues reflect ultrasound giving different shades of grey. Artery disease is easily seen as grey narrowing within the blood stream, which appears as a black channel.
Colourflow Doppler ultrasound mapping
Sophisticated software is used to generate a real-time representation of blood flow as a range of colours, which overlay the greyscale image. Blood flowing towards the probe is usually shown as red (arteries), and away from the probe as blue (veins).
Pulsed Doppler ultrasound
An ultrasound beam can be used to produce a spectral waveform, which accurately measures the speed and direction of blood flow.
As blood passes through a narrowing in an artery the blood velocity increases. This increase in velocity is directly related to the severity of narrowing (stenosis) and can be used to identify significant arterial disease non-invasively
✓ Can save 17% to 34% of the cost of setting up and running a vascular laboratory
✓ Reduces capital expenditure
✓ Lowers staff and administration costs
✓ 95% of inpatients investigated the same day
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