Aims and objectives: Doppler ultrasound scan is a non-invasive and cheap tool that complements the roles of computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and catheter digital subtraction angiography in the screening, diagnosis and follow up of vascular diseases. In this study, we evaluated and described the findings of the Doppler ultrasound of the peripheral arteries performed at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano, Nigeria.
Patients and methods: All the findings of peripheral arterial Doppler ultrasound examinations performed at AKTH during a period of 18 months (from February 2012 to July 2013) were reviewed. All examinations were done using 7.5 MHz linear transducer connected to Mindary Digital Ultrasound Imaging System (Model DC-6; Shenzhen Mindray Biomed Electronics, Shenzhen, China). A 3.5 MHz convex transducer of the same machine was used in obese patients and those with severe subcutaneous oedema.
Results: The findings of 50 males and 28 females were reviewed. Their mean age was 55.8 17.9 years. Diabetic foot disease, intermittent claudication, gangrene and limb swellings were the most common indications for arterial Doppler examination of the lower limbs, constituting 32.1%, 20.5%, 16.7% and 15.4%, respectively. Significant luminal stenosis, total luminal occlusion and loss of arterial resistance were the most frequent findings, constituting 29%, 26.9% and 7.7%, respectively. Femoro-popliteal and below the knee arteries were commonly involved by these abnormalities. Arrhythmia, increased intimal media thickness and wall calcifications were the common compounding findings while diabetes and hypertension were frequently associated clinical problems of these patients.
Conclusion: Doppler ultrasound has a high diagnostic yield in depicting abnormalities in patients with clinical features of peripheral arterial disease.