An aorta sonogram is used to check for aneurysms and monitor known aneurysms

The purpose of the test is to assess the size of the aortic vessel to determine if there is an aneurysm or bulge in the aorta (much like a bulge on an over-inflated inner tube) or to monitor the size of known aneurysms.

Preparing for an aorta sonogram

  • Please wear a two piece outfit
  • Please do not wear boots, jumpsuits, overalls or a dress
  • Please do not eat or drink anything eight hours before the test
  • If you routinely take any medications take them as prescribed with a small amount of water

Preparing for the resting test

  • Please do not eat or drink anything with caffeine in it for four hours before your resting test
    Items with caffeine include: colas, coffee, tea, chocolate and certain cold remedies
  • Do not eat anything four hours prior to the test
  • Please do not smoke or exercise eight hours before testing
  • If you routinely take any medications take them as prescribed

What should I bring with me to the appointment?

  • Insurance card
  • Referral for the stress test if required by your insurance company

What to expect

The aortic sonogram test will take approximately one hour.

A technician will place placing a transducer on your abdomen with a small amount of ultrasound gel. The transducer sends sound waves through your abdomen to the aorta and back. Then with the aid of computers software and a monitor we are able to image the aorta and display it on a monitor in front of you.

In conjunction with this imaging we will assess the blood flow with both pulsed Doppler and color flow Doppler, which measure the speed and direction of the blood flow. By assigning color to the direction of blood flow—called color flow mapping—large areas of blood flow may be studied, which allows abnormal blood flow characteristics to be interpreted by the cardiologist.

After you leave the laboratory the technologist will document measurements from the images. A Baylor Scott & White Legacy Heart Center physician will review the images and measurements. If you have had a previous study the results will be compared.