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June 11, 1982

Gray-Scale Ultrasound Evaluation of the Lower Extremities

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Radiology, Ochsner Medical Institutions, New Orleans.

JAMA. 1982;247(22):3127-3129. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320470071040

DIAGNOSTIC ultrasound continues to expand in its clinical applicability. A new direction is the sonographic evaluation of the lower extremities. Several recent articles dealing with sonographic evaluation of the popliteal fossa have reported success in imaging popliteal aneurysms and cysts, finding and diagnosing abscesses and cellulitis, and differentiating the pseudothrombophlebitis syndrome from true thrombophlebitis.1-7 At Ochsner Medical Institutions, New Orleans, the authors have had considerable experience using ultrasound to answer diagnostic problems. It has been learned that patients who can benefit from gray-scale ultrasound may be divided into the following four categories: (1) those with pulsatile masses, (2) those with non-pulsatile masses, (3) those referred for evaluation of calf pain, and (4) those in a high-risk group with possible asymptomatic aneurysms (Table).

MATERIALS AND METHODS  Patients are examined with both static and real-time scanners using 3.5- to 7.5-MHz transducers of appropriate focal length for the area being examined. Scans