Certain patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are at risk
for arterial insufficiency due to arterial injury (ie, aortic or
other vascular dissection) or vascular surgery. Portable Doppler
evaluation may also be used as an adjunct to standard blood pressure
measurement or pulse detection.
- Doppler ultrasound: The use of an ultrasound probe and
speaker to applied over a vessel to detect flow beneath the probe
- The tip of the ultrasound probe is lubricated with ultrasonic
gel and applied to the skin over vessels in the extremity to detect
flow in arteries of interest, such as the dorsalis
pedis (Figure 53-1) and posterior tibial (Figure
Doppler examination of dorsalis pedis pulse.
Doppler examination of posterior tibial pulse.
Pearls and Pitfalls
- If arterial sounds are absent over suspect arteries,
the probe should be applied to arteries with pulsatile flow elsewhere
on the patient, or the operator may apply the probe to one of his
own arteries to verify correct functioning of the device.
Campbell WB, Fletcher EL, Hands LJ. Assessment of the distal
lower limb arteries: a comparison of arteriography and Doppler ultrasound. Ann R Coll Surg Engl