Aortic ultrasound

Revision as of 17:14, 21 September 2013 by Mcamilon (talk | contribs) (steady pressure to move gas)


  • Transverse
    • Start in epigastrium (below diaphragm) with indicator at 9 o'clock (aorta on left/IVC on right)
    • Use liver as window
    • Identify vertebral body (shadowing)
    • Rock/jiggle probe or hold steady pressure to move bowel gas from view
    • Scan from celiac to bifurcation (near umbilicus)
    • Capture and measure the largest diameter
  • Sagittal
    • Rotate indicator to 12 o'clock (aorta on top/vertebra on bottom of screen)
    • Ensure you're looking at aorta and not IVC (aorta may pulsate/IVC may be compressible)
    • Scan from bifurcation to celiac
    • Capture and measure sagittal views, including the largest diameter
  • Measurements
    • Normal is <3cm
    • Measure outer wall to outer wall (make sure to include thrombus)
    • Watch out for saccular aneurysms


  • Obsese Patients
    • can try posterior approach


  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
    • >3cm diameter (transverse or saggital)
    • Look for free fluid
    • Try to reproduce pain with probe
    • If clot, confirm flow with doppler
  • Aortic Dissection
    • Double lumen separated by intimal flap
    • Confirm with doppler

See Also


  • Sonosite