Renal Artery Duplex Scan

A Renal Artery Duplex Scan is a test to check for problems in the arteries that supply your kidneys with blood. Ultrasound is used to get pictures of the arteries and kidneys.

Why is this test done?

Some of the reasons this test is ordered include high blood pressure or past problems with the renal arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the kidneys. If you have high blood pressure, this test can check for possible narrowing of the arteries to the kidneys, or if you have had a stent in one of the renal arteries your doctor may want to be certain it is still open.

What do I need to do to prepare for the test?

You must not eat, smoke, chew gum or drink carbonated or caffeinated beverages for 12 hours before the test. If you are diabetic and on insulin, be sure to check with your doctor about adjusting your insulin since you will not be eating prior to the test. You may drink water and you may take your prescribed medications with water. If you have any questions about your medications, please ask your doctor.

What happens during the test?

  • You will be asked to remove outer clothing, put on a patient gown and lie on the bed.
  • The lights will need to be dim so the screen on the ultrasound machine can be seen properly.
  • The sonographer will use a small amount of gel and a probe, called a transducer, on your abdomen. The transducer will be pressed firmly against your skin.
  • The ultrasound images will appear on the screen. You will be asked to roll onto your side and hold your breath for short periods of time during the test.

Does the test hurt?

There may be some discomfort from the pressure of the transducer on the abdomen, but it is mild and lasts only a short time. You should tell the sonographer if you are uncomfortable during the test.

How long does the test take?

The test takes approximately 2 hours.

How do I get results?

A radiologist will interpret the test and a final report will be made available to your physician Your doctor will explain the results of the renal artery duplex scan to you.

If you have more questions about this test, call 217-605-5274.