This doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images and pictures to help assess the arterial blood flow to the upper extremities (arms) and lower extremities (legs). Build-up of plaque can be visualized. Plaque growth can affect blood circulation and affect wound healing. Patients at risk for peripheral artery disease include: diabetics, history of smoking,
To diagnose and monitor the progression of peripheral artery disease, results from the peripheral artery doppler are usually correlated with another vascular test known as “ABI/PVR Testing.” These non-invasive tests are used as a measurement comparison to gauge the level of blood flow at various segments of the foot or ankle. ABI, short for ankle/brachial index, is a way to record and compare the systolic blood pressure of the arm to the ankle. PVR, short for Pulse Volume Recording, measures blood flow in the artery.
Who needs it?
- Patients with complaints of leg pain, cramps, fatigue.
- Patients with slow healing ulcers.
- Patients with family history of peripheral artery disease.
What to expect before, during, and after?
No special preparation is needed for this test.
The peripheral artery doppler is a painless and non-invasive test. Typically performed by a technician, you will be asked to lie on an exam table. He will maneuver the transducer over the skin of your abdomen and take pictures or images for your physician to see. The images will provide the doctors a way of determining if there is potential blockage or stenosis.
The doctor will provide you with results and recommendations for prevention and/or treatment right after completion of the test. Unless otherwise specified, you may resume normal activities and normal diet.
Are there any risks I should be aware of?
No risks are associated with this test. The sound waves are harmless and the gel is easily removed off your skin.