What is the role of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD)?

Updated: Jul 27, 2018
  • Author: James A Wilson, MD, MSc, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Conventional cerebrovascular ultrasonography is unlikely to depict the carotid lesions of FMD because they are typically sufficiently distal to the carotid bifurcation so as to avoid detection by standard carotid duplex investigation.

Submandibular insonation with a transcranial Doppler probe directed at the high cervical segments can be used to investigate the distal cervical artery and has moderate sensitivity for detecting FMD.

Doppler scanning of the vertebrobasilar system may reveal reversal of flow (including subclavian steal), but it is not in any way sensitive or specific for FMD.

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