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Information for Patients

ABDOMINAL ULTRASOUND

An abdominal ultrasound produces images of certain organs and structures in the upper abdomen, such as the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, abdominal aorta and other blood vessels.

What’s more, an abdominal ultrasound is used to help diagnose a variety of conditions, including:

  • Abdominal pain or distention
  • Abnormal liver function
  • Enlarged abdominal organ
  • Stones in the gallbladder or kidney
  • An aneurysm in the aorta

A Doppler ultrasound study may be part of an abdominal ultrasound examination. Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body's major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.

Doppler ultrasound images can help the physician to see and evaluate:

  • Blockages to blood flow (such as clots)
  • Narrowing of vessels (which may be caused by plaque)
  • Tumors and congenital malformation