Standards of the Polish Ultrasound Society – update. Ultrasound examination of the visceral arteries

Michał Elwertowski1, Robert Lechowicz2

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2015; 15: 85–95
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2015.0007

Ultrasound examination is a valuable method in diagnosing visceral vasoconstriction of atherosclerotic origin, as well as constriction related to the compression of the celiac trunk. Given the standard stenosis recognition criteria of >70%, the increase in peak systolic velocity (PSV) over 200 cm/s in the celiac trunk; of PSV > 275 cm/s in the superior mesenteric artery, and of PSV > 250 cm/s in the inferior mesenteric artery, the likelihood of correct diagnosis is above 90%. In the case of stenosis due to compression of the celiac trunk by median arcuate ligament of the diaphragm, a valuable addition to the regular examination procedure is to normalize the flow velocity in the vessel, i.e. the reduction in peak systolic velocity levels below 200 cm/s, and in end-diastolic velocity (EDV) levels below 55 cm/s during deep inspiration. In the case of celiac trunk stenosis exceeding 70–80%, additional information on the level of collateral circulation can be obtained by measuring the flow in the hepatic and splenic arteries – assessing the flow velocity, resistance, and pulsatility indices (which fall below 0.65 and below 1.0 in cases of stenosis of the celiac trunk with a reduced capacity of collateral circulation), as well as assessing the changes in these parameters during normal respiration and during inspiration. This paper discusses in detail the examination methods for the celiac trunk and mesenteric arteries, as well as additional procedures used to confirm the diagnosis and pathologies affecting visceral blood flow velocity, i.e.: cirrhosis and hypersplenism. The publication is an update of the Polish Ultrasound Society guidelines published in 2011.

mesenteric arteries, celiac trunk, arcuate ligament syndrome, mesenteric ischemia