Peripheral vascular studies are diagnostic tests used to evaluate the blood flow in the arteries and veins outside of the heart and brain. These tests are used to diagnose conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD), which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries and reduces blood flow to the legs and feet, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a blood clot in a deep vein.
There are several types of peripheral vascular studies, including:
Ankle-brachial index (ABI): This test compares blood pressure readings in the ankle and arm to determine if there is a blockage in the arteries supplying blood to the legs.
Doppler ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to create images of the blood flow in the veins and arteries.
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA): This test uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of the blood vessels.
Computed tomography angiography (CTA): This test uses X-rays and a computer to produce images of the blood vessels.
Peripheral vascular studies are important for diagnosing and managing conditions that affect blood flow, and they can help guide treatment decisions, such as whether to prescribe medication, perform surgery, or recommend lifestyle changes.