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Diagnosing Peripheral Vascular Disease 

Treatment of peripheral vascular disease at Scottsdale Healthcare begins with specialized diagnosis. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures may include any, or a combination, of the following: 

Angiogram - an x-ray of the arteries and veins to detect blockage or narrowing of the vessels. This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube into an artery in the leg and injecting a contrast dye. The contrast dye makes the arteries and veins visible on the x-ray. 

Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) - a comparison of the blood pressure in the ankle with the blood pressure in the arm using a regular blood pressure cuff and a Doppler ultrasound device. To determine the ABI, the systolic blood pressure (the top number of the blood pressure measurement) of the ankle is divided by the systolic blood pressure of the arm. 

Blood Lipid Profile - a blood test to measure the levels of each type of fat in your blood: total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and others. 

Doppler Ultrasound Flow Studies - uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs.Doppler technique is used to measure and assess the flow of blood. Faintness or absence of sound may indicate an obstruction in the blood flow. 

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) - a noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. An MRA is often used to examine the heart and other soft tissues and to assess blood flow. 

Treadmill Exercise Test - a test that is given while a patient walks on a treadmill to monitor the heart during exercise. 

Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) Waveform Analysis - a technique used to calculate blood volume changes in the legs using a recording device that displays the results as a waveform. 

Reactive Hyperemia Test - a test similar to an ABI or a treadmill test but used for people who are unable to walk on a treadmill. While a person is lying on his or her back, comparative blood pressure measurements are taken on the thighs and ankles to determine any decrease between the two sites. 

Segmental Blood Pressure Measurements - a means of comparing blood pressure measurements using a Doppler device in the upper thigh, above and below the knee, at the ankle, and on the arm to determine any constriction in blood flow.