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What is an Ultrasound Colour Doppler Scan?
An Ultrasound Colour Doppler scan is a medical imaging examination that uses ultrasound to measure the flow of blood through arteries and veins in organs and other body parts such as the heart, neck, legs, liver, and kidneys. During the colour doppler scan, an ultrasound transducer is placed on your skin. The transducer sends sound waves into your body which are then reflected back by your internal organs and converted into colour images that can be used to map out blood flow patterns. This procedure is most often used to diagnose congenital heart defects, blocked or weakened vessels, stroke, and embolism. An Ultrasound Colour Doppler Scan is a safe and effective procedure with no radiation involved.
When is an Ultrasound Colour Doppler Scan prescribed?
Unlike standard ultrasound scans, a color doppler ultrasound is a much more advanced technique that is used to visualize the fetus and its heartbeat. It clearly shows the direction of blood flow and any obstruction in the circulation throughout the pregnancy. Color Doppler scans are routinely prescribed twice during the course of a high-risk pregnancy.
At around 10-12 weeks into the pregnancy, this test is performed to check for any common developmental abnormalities in the fetus. During this moment of time, it is very important to analyze if there are any issues with growth or development that were previously unknown. Doctors use this scan to observe how well the baby is developing, as well as look for any concerning signs such as an insufficient level of amniotic fluid or signs of placenta previa or abruption.
In addition, doctors use color doppler ultrasounds during weeks 31-40 to analyze potential risks of intrauterine growth retardation in the baby. This scan can provide vital information regarding the baby’s weight and size, as well as detect any possible fetal health issues such as heart problems or pulmonary complications due to a lack of oxygen transfer through the umbilical cord or other obstructions caused by tumors or cysts in the uterus. It also helps doctors identify cases where intervention may be necessary earlier than normal labor delivery processes would allow for.