Noninvasive vascular imaging allows your doctor to see inside your blood vessels, evaluate blood flow, and locate any areas where blood circulation is slowed or stopped. The procedures are called noninvasive because they use equipment that takes pictures from outside your body.
This type of vascular imaging includes different imaging technologies:
- CT (computed tomography): uses X-ray and advanced computer technology to create images of your blood vessels, soft tissue, organs, and bones
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): uses magnetic energy (magnets) and radio waves to create images of your blood vessels, soft tissue, organs, and bones without using radiation
- Ultrasound (sonography): uses sound waves, without radiation, to show your blood vessels and organs in real-time as a moving picture
Who is a Candidate?
Your doctor may order a vascular imaging test to examine:
- Aneurysms: weakened areas of a blood vessel that may bulge out and burst
- Blockages in your vessels: such as blood clots or areas narrowed by plaque (a fatty substance)
- Blood vessel malformations: vascular defects you're born with
- Spider or varicose veins
You may also have a noninvasive vascular imaging test to find out if you’re a candidate for an interventional radiology procedure or to allow your doctor to evaluate how a particular treatment is working.
What to Expect
Computed tomography angiography (CTA)
CTA is a type of CT scan (or CAT scan) that looks for abnormalities in your blood vessels, such as narrowing or enlargement. Your doctor may use CTA to see vessels in your stomach area, chest, pelvis, arms, and legs. As part of the exam, you receive a special dye (contrast solution), which makes certain blood vessels easier to see.
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
MRA is a type of MRI scan that examines your blood vessels, as a CTA does, but without radiation. Unlike CTA, which requires a contrast solution, only some types of MRA procedures require it.
Ultrasound allows your doctor to evaluate how quickly your blood flows through your vessels in real time, without using radiation. Depending on your test, your procedure may use:
- Doppler ultrasound: which detects blood cells in motion, and can find areas of poor blood flow
- Duplex ultrasound: a combination of Doppler and standard ultrasound that shows the structure of your vessels and blood flow through them
We use vascular ultrasound to examine areas such as the portion of the aorta in your abdomen, the carotid artery in your neck, your kidney (renal) artery, and the veins and arteries in your arms and legs.
Why Choose UHealth?
The latest noninvasive vascular imaging technology. We use leading-edge CT, MRI, and ultrasound techniques, including multidetector CT and high-field strength MRI. Our technologists adhere to the highest standards to ensure your safety and comfort.
Expert care from an experienced team. You receive care from skilled, state-certified technologists and doctors who are nationally recognized for patient care and their contributions to radiology.
Get high-quality vascular imaging close to home. Choose from the several locations in South Florida to find the most convenient imaging center near you.
Questions? We're here to help.
Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.