Typically, a duplex ultrasound machine has two probes:
- A 12–18 MHz linear probe
- A 5–6 MHz curved probe
The curved probe uses lower frequencies to see deeper vessels, whereas the linear probe uses higher frequencies to see more superficial vessels. The difference between the probes is just the depth of penetration.
The 12–18 MHz linear probe
Most peripheral arterial studies are performed with the linear probe because most of the lower extremity vessels are typically superficial.
The 5–6 MHz curved probe
The curved probe is usually reserved for deep abdominal arteries. However, it can be used in obese or swollen lower extremities where there is increased vessel depth.
It’s really that simple!
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