Transverse Section

Firstly, begin with the patient in the supine position.

Start with a transverse section. Identify the vertebral body (pre-vertebral stripe and acoustic shadow). The aorta lies anterior to the echo-bright pre-vertebral stripe. Use the left lobe of the liver as the initial acoustic window.

You should image, as shown, the coeliac axis, then the SMA. Lower you will find the renal vessels, and around the umbilicus the bifurcation and origin of the iliac arteries.

This image shows the transverse section of the upper abdominal aorta.

You should image (and save images of) the proximal, mid and distal (including bifurcation) Aorta in transverse section. A video is often best for demonstrating the bifurcation but video can be utilised to scan down then entire visible length.

Learning bite

Start in transverse section before moving on to a longitudinal section.