Renal Duplex Imaging

The blood flows through the renal arteries to the kidneys. In cases of renal artery disease, where there is narrowing or stenosis due to atherosclerosis, the result can be reduced blood flow to the kidney, which can cause hypertension or high blood pressure. Renal artery stenosis is the most common correctable cause of hypertension. If left untreated for long periods, renal artery disease can also be an important cause of kidney failure. Renal artery duplex scanning is a non-invasive, accurate and cost-effective method of diagnosing renal artery disease. Unlike CT scanning or angiography, no injection of X-ray contrast material is required, thus avoiding the risk of damaging the kidneys from the contrast.

Blood flow velocities and flow patterns in the aorta and renal arteries can be evaluated through the use of Doppler imaging and can provide valuable information concerning secondary damage to the kidneys due to chronic poor blood flow. Resistance indices, or flow patterns in the small vessels within the kidneys can also provide diagnostic information concerning damage to the kidneys and the possibility for the recovery of kidney function with available therapies.