AIM

This investigation is performed to assess the veins of the upper limb for their suitability as bypass grafts, for fistulas and to exclude thrombosis of the vessel or other arteriovenous pathology.

PATIENT PREPARATION

There are no special instructions for this examination.

STUDY TECHNIQUE

Patients are required to remove their shirt to enable scanning of the arm veins through the shoulder region and across the base of the neck, undergarments can be left on. Special ultrasound gel is applied to the skin, this is removed at the end of the scan. The gel allows the probe to pass freely across the skin as well improving the image quality. You may be asked to raise or lower the limb depending upon the investigation being performed.

STUDY TIME

The ultrasound examination will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA

B Mode will be used to determine the patency of the upper limb veins. Sometimes colour flow will be utlized to determine the direction of flow looking for areas of reflux.