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News on Health & Science

Anger Send Blood to the Head

Blood really does rush to the head during a fit of anger.

Medical research has proved that when irate, the carotid arteries – which supply the head and neck – dilate.
The increased flow of blood to the brain then results in what is known as a ‘head rush‘.
Scientists tested 58 healthy volunteers between the ages of 19 and 60 for their cerebral responses to mental stress.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It was found that in all cases the mental stress led to vasodilation – the relaxing of blood vessels carrying blood to the head – accompanied by an increase in brain blood flow.
However, those with high blood pressure did not register increased blood flow when annoyed.
Tasneem Naqvi and Hahn Huynh from the University of Southern California and Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre set the volunteers tasks designed to make them agitated.

The researchers then used ultrasound imaging to measure the effects on the carotid artery and an artery within the brain.

The results are published in the journal Cardiovascular Ultrasound.

Source:Mail Online: 3rd.July. ’09

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Diagnonistic Test

Venous Ultrasound of the Legs (Lower Extremity Doppler)

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Definition:
This type of ultrasound shows if there is a blockage in a leg vein. Such blockages are usually caused by blood clots, which can be dangerous and even lifethreatening if they break loose and travel through the blood to the lungs. If you have pain or swelling in one leg, your doctor may order an ultrasound to determine whether your symptoms are caused by a blockage.

Click for the picture

The importance of the Venous Doppler examination of the lower extremities cannot be underestimated. Careful mapping of the lower extremity venous system prior to treatment is essential to a good clinical outcome. While many patients present with large, clinically obvious bulging varicose veins other individuals may have significant “silent” large vein disease (reflux), which can only be detected by Doppler vein mapping. Venous Doppler not only provides a detailed picture of your venous system, but can show abnormal direction blood flow (reflux) in diseased veins. Successful treatment of leg veins requires accurate diagnosis with treatment of abnormal large veins followed by touch-up treatment of smaller veins…………...click & see

An example of a Venous Doppler procedure is a scan which shows the vein with the blood flow direction indicated by the colored space inside the vein wall. The surrounding tissues look like images on weather radar. When the venous duplex test is performed, multiple pictures are taken to document the status of the vein and to select the optimal treatment plan for your veins. Venous Doppler is also performed at the time of Endovenous Laser Treatment as well as in follow up after EVLT

How to prepare for the test?
No preparation is necessary.

What happens when the test is performed?
After squirting some clear jelly onto the inside of one of your thighs to help the ultrasound sensor slide around easily, a technician or doctor places the sensor against your skin. Once it’s in place, an image appears on a video screen, and the technician or doctor moves the sensor up and down along your leg – from the groin to the calf – to view the veins from different angles. The examiner presses the sensor into your skin firmly every few inches to see if the veins change shape under pressure. He or she then checks your other leg in the same way. As the machine measures the blood flowing through a vein, it makes a swishing noise in time with the rhythm of your heartbeat. This test usually takes 15-30 minutes.Most people don’t feel any discomfort, but if your leg was swollen and sensitive to the touch before the test, the pressure of the sensor might cause some tenderness.

Risk Factors:
There are no risks.
Must you do anything special after the test is over?
Nothing.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
A radiologist reviews a videotape of your ultrasound and checks for signs of blockages in the veins.Your doctor should receive a report within a few hours to a day.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/venous-ultrasound-of-the-legs.shtml
http://www.amarillovein.com/AboutUltrasound.php

Categories
Diagnonistic Test

Abdominal Ultrasound

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Alternative Names:- Ultrasound – abdomen; Abdominal sonogram

Definition :-
Abdominal ultrasound is an imaging procedure used to examine the internal organs of the abdomen, including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys. The blood vessels that lead to some of these organs can also be looked at with ultrasound.

.Click to see the pictures

It uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture of the organs and other structures in the upper abdomen. Occasionally a specialized ultrasound is ordered for a detailed evaluation of a specific organ, such as a kidney ultrasound.

An abdominal ultrasound can evaluate the:
*Abdominal aorta, which is the large blood vessel (artery) that passes down the back of the chest and abdomen. The aorta supplies blood to the lower part of the body and the legs.

*Liver, which is a large dome-shaped organ that lies under the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen. The liver produces bile (a substance that helps digest fat), stores sugars, and breaks down many of the body’s waste products.

*Gallbladder, which is a saclike organ beneath the liver. The gallbladder stores bile. When food is eaten, the gallbladder contracts, sending bile into the intestines to help in digesting food and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.

*Spleen, which is the soft, round organ that helps fight infection and filters old red blood cells. The spleen is located to the left of the stomach, just behind the lower left ribs.

*Pancreas, which is the gland located in the upper abdomen that produces enzymes that help digest food. The digestive enzymes are then released into the intestines. The pancreas also releases insulin into the bloodstream; insulin helps the body utilize sugars for energy.
*Kidneys, which are the pair of bean-shaped organs located behind the upper abdominal cavity. The kidneys remove wastes from the blood and produce urine.

A pelvic ultrasound evaluates the structures and organs in the lower abdominal area (pelvis).

Why It Is Required to be Done:-
The specific reason for the test will depend on your symptoms. Abdominal ultrasound is mostly  done to:

*Determine the cause of abdominal pain.

*Detect, measure, or monitor an aneurysm in the aorta. An aneurysm may cause a large, pulsing lump in the abdomen.

*Evaluate the size, shape, and position of the liver. An ultrasound may be done to evaluate jaundice and other problems of the liver, including liver masses, cirrhosis, fat deposits in the liver (called fatty liver), or abnormal liver function tests.

*Detect gallstones, inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), or blocked bile ducts. See an illustration of a gallstone.

*Detect kidney stones.

*Determine the size of an enlarged spleen and look for damage or disease.

*Detect problems with the pancreas, such as pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.

*Determine the cause of blocked urine flow in a kidney. A kidney ultrasound may also be done to determine the size of the kidneys, detect kidney masses, detect fluid surrounding the kidneys, investigate causes for recurring urinary tract infections, or evaluate the condition of transplanted kidneys.

*Determine whether a mass in any of the abdominal organs (such as the liver) is a solid tumor or a simple fluid-filled cyst.

*Determine the condition of the abdominal organs after an accident or abdominal injury and look for blood in the abdominal cavity. However, computed tomography (CT) scanning is more commonly used for this purpose because it is more precise than abdominal ultrasound.

*Guide the placement of a needle or other instrument during a biopsy.

*Detect fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity (ascites). An ultrasound also may be done to guide the needle during a procedure to remove fluid from the abdominal cavity (paracentesis).
How the Test is Performed :-
This test is done by a doctor who specializes in performing and interpreting imaging tests (radiologist) or by an ultrasound technologist (sonographer) who is supervised by a radiologist. It is done in an ultrasound room in a hospital or doctor’s office.

You will need to remove any jewelry that might interfere with the ultrasound scan. You will need to take off all or most of your clothes, depending on which area is examined (you may be allowed to keep on your underwear if it does not interfere with the test). You will be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the test.

An ultrasound machine creates images that allow various organs in the body to be examined. The machine sends out high-frequency sound waves, which reflect off body structures to create a picture. A computer receives these reflected waves and uses them to create a picture. Unlike with x-rays or CT scans, there is no ionizing radiation exposure with this test.

You will be lying down for the procedure. A clear, water-based conducting gel is applied to the skin over the abdomen. This helps with the transmission of the sound waves. A handheld probe called a transducer is then moved over the abdomen.

You may be asked to change position so that the health care provider can examine different areas. You may also be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time during the examination.

Abdominal ultrasound usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. You may be asked to wait until the radiologist has reviewed the information. The radiologist may want to do additional ultrasound views of some areas of your abdomen.

How To Prepare For the Test:-
Tell your doctor if you have had a barium enema or a series of upper GI (gastrointestinal) tests within the past 2 days. Barium that remains in the intestines can interfere with the ultrasound test.

Preparation for the procedure depends on the nature of the problem and your age. Usually patients are asked to not eat or drink for several hours before the examination. Your health care provider will advise you about specific preparation.

For ultrasound of the liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas, you may be asked to eat a fat-free meal on the evening before the test and then to avoid eating for 8 to 12 hours before the test.

For ultrasound of the kidneys, you may not need any special preparation. You may be asked to drink 4 to 6 glasses of liquid (usually juice or water) about an hour before the test to fill your bladder. You may be asked to avoid eating for 8 to 12 hours before the test to avoid gas buildup in the intestines. This could interfere with the evaluation of the kidneys, which lay behind the stomach and intestines.

For ultrasound of the aorta, you may need to avoid eating for 8 to 12 hours before the test.

How It Feels:-
There is little discomfort. The conducting gel may feel slightly cold and wet when it is applied to your stomach unless it is first warmed to body temperature. You will feel light pressure from the transducer as it passes over your abdomen. The ultrasound usually is not uncomfortable. However, if the test is being done to assess damage from a recent injury, the slight pressure of the transducer may be somewhat painful. You will not hear or feel the sound waves.

Risks Factors:
There is no documented risk. No ionizing radiation exposure is involved.

Results:-
An abdominal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture of the organs and other structures in the abdomen.

Abdominal ultrasound  Normal:
The size and shape of the abdominal organs appear normal. The liver, spleen, and pancreas appear normal in size and texture. No abnormal growths are seen. No fluid is found in the abdomen.

The diameter of the aorta is normal and no aneurysms are seen.

The thickness of the gallbladder wall is normal. The size of the bile ducts between the gallbladder and the small intestine is normal. No gallstones are seen.

The kidneys appear as sharply outlined bean-shaped organs. No kidney stones are seen. No blockage to the system draining the kidneys is present.

Abdominal ultrasound Abnormal:
An organ may appear abnormal because of inflammation, infection, or other diseases. An organ may be smaller than normal because of an old injury or past inflammation. An organ may be pushed out of its normal location because of an abnormal growth pressing against it. An abnormal growth (such as a tumor) may be seen in an organ. Fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites) may be seen.

The aorta is enlarged, or an aneurysm is seen.

The liver may appear abnormal, which may indicate liver disease (such as cirrhosis or cancer).

The walls of the gallbladder may be thickened, or fluid may be present around the gallbladder, which may indicate inflammation. The bile ducts may be enlarged because of blockage (from a gallstone or an abnormal growth in the pancreas). Gallstones may be seen inside the gallbladder.

The kidneys may be enlarged because of urine that is not draining properly through the ureters. Kidney stones are seen within the kidneys (not all stones can be seen with ultrasound).

An area of infection (abscess) or a fluid-filled cyst may appear as a round, hollow structure inside an organ. The spleen may be ruptured (if an injury to the abdomen has occurred).

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003777.htm
http://health.yahoo.com/digestive-diagnosis/abdominal-ultrasound/healthwise–hw1430.html

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Diagnonistic Test

Venous Ultrasound of Upper & Lower Extremity Arterial Doppler Studies

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Introduction:
The Arterial Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves at a frequency that is higher than humans are able to hear to produce images on a monitor for the purpose of evaluating the arterial blood flow to the upper extremities (arms) and lower extremities (legs).

CLICK & SEE

This type of ultrasound shows if there is a blockage in arm or  leg vein. Such blockages are usually caused by blood clots, which can be dangerous and even lifethreatening if they break loose and travel through the blood to the lungs. If you have pain or swelling in one leg, your doctor may order an ultrasound to determine whether your symptoms are caused by a blockage.

It is used to evaluate:
*Numbness and tingling sensations in the hands, arms, feet and legs
*Sensation of fatigue and heaviness in the arms and legs
*To investigate the possibility of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Procedure:

For the Arterial Doppler exam a blood pressure cuff is applied to each of the arms and legs and a pressure is recorded for each extremity cuff. The pulse is also taken and recorded for each of the extremities. The patient may then be exercised and blood pressure recordings repeated or an ultrasound may be performed to assess the arteries for the location and the amount of narrowing.

When evaluating for thoracic outlet syndrome of the upper extremities, the patient will be asked to perform a series of arm movements while recordings are documented.

The Arterial Doppler studies take approximately 60-90 minutes.

After squirting some clear jelly onto the inside of one of your arms or thighs to help the ultrasound sensor slide around easily, a technician or doctor places the sensor against your skin. Once it’s in place, an image appears on a video screen, and the technician or doctor moves the sensor up and down along your leg – from the groin to the calf – to view the veins from different angles. The examiner presses the sensor into your skin firmly every few inches to see if the veins change shape under pressure. He or she then checks your other leg in the same way. As the machine measures the blood flowing through a vein, it makes a swishing noise in time with the rhythm of your heartbeat. This test usually takes 15-30 minutes.Most people don’t feel any discomfort, but if your leg was swollen and sensitive to the touch before the test, the pressure of the sensor might cause some tenderness.

How do You prepare for the test? No preparation is necessary.

Risk Factors: There are no risks
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
A radiologist reviews a videotape of your ultrasound and checks for signs of blockages in the veins.Your doctor should receive a report within a few hours to a day.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/venous-ultrasound-of-the-legs.shtml
http://www.advanceddiagnosticimagingpc.com/vascular/extremity.htm

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Diagnonistic Test

Carotid Ultrasound (Carotid Doppler)

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Definition:
Ultrasound uses sound waves instead of radiation to generate snapshots or moving pictures of structures inside the body. This imaging technique works in a manner similar to radar and sonar, developed in World War II to detect airplanes, missiles, and submarines that were otherwise invisible. After coating your skin with a lubricant to reduce friction, a radiologist or ultrasound technician places an ultrasound transducer, which looks like a microphone, on your skin and may rub it back and forth to get the right view. The transducer sends sound waves into your body and picks up the echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off internal organs and tissue. A computer transforms these echoes into an image that is displayed on a monitor…….....CLICK & SEE

Doppler ultrasound is a variation of this technique that not only shows internal structures but also examines the flow of blood through blood vessels. Using the Doppler effect—the change in the frequency of sound or light waves as they bounce off a moving object—this kind of ultrasound produces an image of blood in motion…..CLICK & SEE

A Carotid ultrasound shows the amount of blood flow in the carotid arteries, the major blood vessels to the brain located on either side of your neck. With this imaging technique, your doctor can see if there is any narrowing of your carotid arteries because of cholesterol deposits or some other problem. This test is often used to evaluate people who have had a stroke or who might be at high risk for one because of reduced blood flow in the carotid arteries…......CLICK & SEE.

Who Needs Carotid Ultrasound?
Carotid ultrasound checks for plaque buildup in the carotid arteries. This buildup can narrow or block your carotid arteries. You may need a carotid ultrasound if you:

*Had a stroke or ministroke recently.
*Have an abnormal sound in your carotid artery called a carotid bruit (broo-E).

Your doctor can hear a carotid bruit with the help of a stethoscope put on your neck over the carotid artery. A bruit can mean that there’s a partial blockage in your carotid artery that could lead to a stroke.
Your doctor also may order a carotid ultrasound if he or she suspects you may have:

*Blood clots that can slow blood flow in your carotid artery
*A split between the layers of your carotid artery wall that weakens the wall or reduces the blood flow to your brain
A carotid ultrasound also may be done to see whether carotid artery surgery has restored normal blood flow. If you had a procedure called carotid stenting, your doctor may order a carotid ultrasound afterward to check the position of the stent put in your carotid artery. (The stent, a small mesh tube, helps prevent the artery from becoming narrowed or blocked again.)

Sometimes carotid ultrasound is used as a preventive screening test in people who have medical conditions that increase their risk of stroke, including high blood pressure and diabetes. People with these conditions may benefit from having their carotid arteries checked regularly even if they show no signs of plaque buildup.

What To Expect Before Carotid Ultrasound
Carotid ultrasound is a painless test, and typically there is little to do in advance. Your doctor will tell you how to prepare for your carotid ultrasound.

Process of Performing the Test.:
After squirting some clear jelly onto one side of your neck to help the ultrasound sensor slide around easily, a technician places the sensor against your skin. An image then appears on a video screen . As the technician moves the sensor back and forth on your neck, different views of the carotid artery appear on the screen. As the equipment measures the blood flow through the artery, you hear a noise that sounds like your heartbeat. The other side of your neck is checked in the same way. This test usually takes 15–30 minutes.

The ultrasound machine includes a computer, a video screen, and a transducer, which is a hand-held device that sends and receives ultrasound waves into and from the body.

You will lie down on your back on an exam table for the test. Your technician or doctor will put a gel on your neck where your carotid arteries are located. This gel helps the ultrasound waves reach the arteries better. Your technician or doctor will put the transducer against different spots on your neck and move it back and forth.

FIG-A

 

 

 
……….Fig->A.
The above Figure shows how the ultrasound probe is placed over the carotid artery. Figure B is a color ultrasound image showing blood flow (the red color in the image) in the carotid artery. Figure C is a waveform image showing the sound of flowing blood in the carotid artery.

The transducer gives off ultrasound waves and detects their echoes after they bounce off the artery walls and blood cells. Ultrasound waves can’t be heard by the human ear.

A computer uses the echoes of the ultrasound waves bouncing off the carotid arteries to create and record images of the insides of the arteries (usually in black and white) and your blood flowing through them (usually in color; this is the Doppler ultrasound). A video screen displays these live images for your doctor to review.

Risk Factor:
There are no risks linked to having a carotid ultrasound, because the test uses harmless sound waves. These are the same type of sound waves that doctors use to record pictures of fetuses in pregnant women.

What one must do after the test is over?
Carotid ultrasound is usually done in a doctor’s office or hospital. The test is painless and usually doesn’t take more than 30 minutes.
Usually there is nothing special you have to do after a carotid ultrasound, and you should be able to return to normal activities immediately.

Often your doctor will be able to tell you the results of the carotid ultrasound when it occurs or soon afterward.

What Does a Carotid Ultrasound Show?
A carotid ultrasound can show whether buildup of a fatty material called plaque has narrowed one or both of your carotid arteries and reduced blood flow to your brain.

.Fig->B………………….
The illustration shows a normal artery with normal blood flow (figure A) and an artery containing plaque buildup ( figure B).

If your carotid arteries are narrowed by plaque, you may be at risk for having a stroke. That risk depends on how much of your artery is blocked and how much blood flow is restricted. To reduce your risk for stroke, your doctor may recommend medical or surgical treatments to reduce or remove the plaque buildup in your carotid arteries.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
The technician records the test on videotape for review by a radiologist. The radiologist then makes measurements from the video picture and submits a report to your doctor. Your doctor should have the results within a few days.

Key Points to Note:
*Carotid ultrasound is a test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the insides of the two large arteries in your neck. These arteries, called carotid arteries, supply your brain with blood.

*A carotid ultrasound can show whether buildup of a fatty material called plaque has narrowed one or both of your carotid arteries and reduced blood flow to your brain.

*If your carotid arteries are narrowed by plaque, you may be at risk for having a stroke, depending on how much of your artery is blocked and how much blood flow is restricted.

*You may need a carotid ultrasound if you had a stroke or ministroke recently or are at high risk for having a stroke.

*Carotid ultrasound is a painless test done in a doctor’s office or hospital. It usually doesn’t take more than 30 minutes and requires no preparation or followup.

*There are no risks linked to having a carotid ultrasound, because the test uses harmless sound waves.

Resources:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/carotid-ultrasound.htm
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cu/cu_all.html