Using Ultrasound to Diagnose Peripheral Artery Disease

Using Ultrasound to Diagnose Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a circulatory disease that narrows arteries and restricts blood flow in the extremities. This can cause cramping in the legs when exercising, which usually subsides when you stop. PAD can also cause pain, numbness, swelling, and discoloration in the feet, and can be a prelude to more dangerous complications. One of the tests a podiatrist may use to test the blood flow through arteries and veins is a duplex ultrasound. There are two components to a duplex ultrasound. The first is traditional ultrasound which creates an image by bouncing sound waves off of blood vessels. The second is doppler ultrasound which measures sound waves reflected off of flowing blood to visualize its direction and speed. Duplex ultrasounds are non-invasive. The patient remains still as the podiatrist hovers a wand (transducer) over the area to be tested which sends out sound waves. These sound waves are then reflected back and translated into images. To learn more about PAD and various ways to test for it, please make an appointment with your local podiatrist.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Vascular Testing in Podiatry

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