Peripheral Vascular Disease (cont.)
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What tests diagnose peripheral vascular disease?
The classic symptom of leg pain on walking that stops with rest is a good indication of peripheral vascular disease. However, only about 40% of people with peripheral vascular disease have intermittent claudication. Upon hearing the patient's symptoms, the health-care professional will formulate a list of possibilities.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association guidelines recommend screening for peripheral artery disease (PAD) using the ankle-brachial index (ABI) in patients at increased risk, including adults 65 years and older, adults 50 years and older with a history of smoking or diabetes, and adults of any age with leg symptoms on exertion or wounds that do not heal.
Tests for peripheral vascular disease
Rose criteria: A test used by many medical professionals to screen for peripheral vascular disease is a series of 9 questions called the Rose criteria. The answers to these questions indicate whether you have peripheral vascular disease and how severe it is.
Ankle/brachial index: One of the most widely used tests for a person who has symptoms suggesting intermittent claudication is the Ankle/Brachial Index (ABI).
Treadmill exercise test: If necessary, the ABI will be followed by a treadmill exercise test.
Imaging tests for peripheral vascular disease
To help locate blockages in your blood vessels, any of several tests, such as angiography, ultrasonography, or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), can be used.
Angiography, or arteriography, is a type of X-ray.
Ultrasonography uses sound waves to find abnormalities.
MRI is a type of X-ray. Rather than radiation, MRI uses a magnetic field to obtain an image of internal structures. It gives a very accurate and detailed image of blood vessels. This technique is also noninvasive.
Several other tests are used under certain circumstances. Your health-care professional can explain why he or she recommends that certain tests be performed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/30/2016
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