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Vascular imaging and studies...

Non-Invasive Diagnostic Vascular Studies

At Vascular Access Centers we offer a range of non-invasive diagnostic vascular tests using state-of-the-art ultrasound imaging, doppler blood flow evaluation, and physiologic testing. These tests look for vascular diseases that may affect how well blood flows in the arteries and veins, and can help to diagnose many vascular conditions including peripheral arterial disease (PAD), venous insufficiency, and stroke.

Our accreditation with The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) Vascular Testing program ensures the highest standards for patient care and vascular diagnostic evaluations. As accreditation is renewed every three years, we maintain a long-term and consistent commitment to quality and self-assessment.

Limb Salvage
Vascular Ultrasound Procedure

Vascular Ultrasound

Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that allows the physician to see and evaluate blood flow through arteries and veins.

Studies Overview

Lower Extremity Arterial Ultrasound

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a serious health risk factor leading to stroke, heart attack and sudden death. Unfortunately, most people are not aware they are at risk until it’s too late. If you have symptoms of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), you may be a candidate for an arterial ultrasound The test is done while you are lying on your back. Ultrasound gel is placed on your leg that allows the ultrasound signals to travel to the arteries. The technologist will use a transducer over the gel to visualize the arteries. The ultrasound waves will bounce off of the blood vessels and travel back to the transducer, which produces the image on the ultrasound machine. The technologist can then visualize any area of narrowing in the artery and take measurements of the blood flow This test is also a good way to monitor known lower extremity arterial narrowing and to follow up on vascular surgery to the legs such as bypass surgery, angioplasty, and stents

IAC Accredation
IAC Accredation

Venous Insufficiency Duplex

The most common cause of venous problems is venous reflux. Venous reflux (also known as venous insufficiency) occurs when venous valves don't function adequately, leading to reversal of blood flow through the valves during standing or sitting. Venous duplex scan is a painless exam that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to capture images of internal views of veins that return blood to the heart. Gel is applied to the legs and a transducer is used to capture the images. This examination is usually painless, although you may feel some discomfort if your leg is tender. This procedure takes approximately 1 hour to perform, and no special preparation is required.

Some indications of venous insufficiency include warmth, pain and swelling of one or both legs, or ulcers of legs.


Cerebrovascular Ultrasound

A cerebrovascular exam, (also known as a Carotid Duplex) uses ultrasound and doppler to examine blood flow in the neck and arteries that supply the brain. The carotid arteries are located in the neck. They supply blood directly to the brain. During a cerebrovascular exam, the technologist will pass a transducer over both sides of the neck and look for plaque (atherosclerosis) which may cause a narrowing or blockage of the arteries.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in this country. More than half of all strokes in older Americans are due to carotid artery disease.


Limb Salvage
ABI/TBI with segmental PVR waveforms

Lower Extremity Macro Circulation

Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) / Pulse Volume Recording (PVR)

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is the ratio of the blood pressure at the ankle to the blood pressure in the upper arm (brachium). Compared to the arm, lower blood pressure in the leg is an indication of blocked arteries due to peripheral artery disease (PAD). A toe-brachial index (TBI) is when a ratio is calculated between the toe pressure and the higher brachial pressure. While an ABI/TBI is a useful tool, as a stand-alone, it can have limitations, especially in diabetic patients with calcified vessels. Coupling the ABI/TBI with a pulse volume recording (PVR) gives a more complete picture of the lower extremity macro circulation. Pulse volume recording, also known as plethysmography, is a noninvasive test that measures blood flow within the blood vessels, or arteries. Its purpose is to help locate blockages in the arteries. Physicians usually perform pulse volume recording on the legs to help diagnose leg artery disease.

Studies Overview

Segmental Pulse Volume Recordings With Ankle Brachial Index and Toe Brachial Index

During this exam blood-pressure cuffs are placed on your thighs, calves and ankles (both legs). The blood cuffs are inflated slightly, and waveforms as well as blood pressures are obtained. Blood pressures are obtained by using a special microphone, to listen to the pulses at your ankles. This procedure is painless and takes approximately 30 minutes.

Additional Studies and/or Vascular Conditions

  • Ankle Brachial Indices (ABIs)
  • DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) Evaluation
  • Vessel Mapping for dialysis access
  • Renal Artery Ultrasound
  • Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound
  • Upper Extremity Arterial and Venous Ultrasound

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