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Diagnosing Peripheral Vascular Disease

Your physician may suspect peripheral vascular disease if you are experiencing changes in skin color of extremities, changes in skin temperature, numbness and burning, pain when walking and non-healing wounds.

Your physician may use any of the following tests and procedures to diagnosis peripheral vascular disease.

Image of a vascular ultrasound

An X-ray procedure of the arteries using contrast (X-ray dye) to demonstrate narrowing and blockage of arteries.

A comparison of blood pressures in the upper arms to blood pressures in the ankles to determine constriction of blood flow.

Measures total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Utilizes a CT scanner and x-rays to generate three dimensional images of the coronary arteries. An X-ray tube and detector rotate around the body to gather information that a computer transforms into a three dimensional image of the arteries and veins of the body. This test may be used to determine if there is plaque buildup narrowing the coronary or limb arteries.

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) utilizes a magnetic field and radio waves to obtain a three dimensional image of the blood vessels within the body. This exam can be utilized to identify atherosclerotic (plaque) disease and other abnormalities of the vessels. Unlike X-rays, MRA does not use ionizing radiation.

Provides images of the circulation of blood within the arteries and veins of certain areas of the body such as the legs, arms, neck and abdomen. This testing is done by using sound waves to create images of your arteries and veins.

An X-ray procedure of the veins using contrast (X-ray dye) to find blood clots causing narrowing and blockages of veins.