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A healthcare professional is performing a medical procedure on a patient's leg in a cardiology clinical setting.

How is Peripheral Artery Disease Diagnosed?

An accurate diagnosis of Peripheral Artery Disease is dependent upon the location of the disease. A cardiologist will use one of the following methods to detect and monitor your artery health.


Physician uses a stethoscope to listen for the presence of a bruit, or “whooshing” sound in the arteries of the legs.  

Ankle-brachial index (ABI)

An ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a quick, non-invasive test used to determine if blood flow may be inhibited in one or both legs.

Doppler Ultrasound

A form of ultrasound measuring the direction and rate of blood flow through the vessels. 

CT Angiography

An advanced X-ray procedure that uses a computer to generate three-dimensional images. 

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MR Angiography): 

A Magnetic resonance angiography is used to generate images of arteries in order to evaluate them for stenosis, occlusions, aneurysms or other abnormalities.


A diagnostic test that uses x-rays to take pictures of your blood vessels.

What Is An Ankle Brachial Index?

A simple test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI) often is used to diagnose P.A.D. The ABI compares blood pressure in your ankle to blood pressure in your arm. This test shows how well blood is flowing in your limbs.

How is an Ultrasound Used in Diagnosing PAD?

A Doppler ultrasound looks at blood flow in the major arteries and veins in the limbs. A handheld device is passed back and forth over the affected area. A computer converts sound waves into a picture of blood flow in the arteries and veins.

What Are Some of the Minimally Invasive Procedures Used in Treating PAD?

Sometimes, lifestyle changes and medication are not enough to manage the symptoms of PAD, and minimally-invasive treatments or by-pass surgery is required.

What Is a Pulse Volume Recording?

A Pulse Volume Recording is a test which compares the blood pressure in your legs to the blood pressure in your arms. It is a safe and painless test that helps your physician determine if your legs are getting the proper amount of blood supply.

How Can Lifestyle Changes Help in Treating PAD?

Lifestyle changes, especially smoking cessation and exercise, are critical for every patient with PAD. If caught early enough,
these lifestyle changes may be the only treatment necessary to lessen the symptoms of PAD.

Is By-Pass Surgery An Option in Treating PAD?

If there’s a long portion of the artery in your leg that’s completely blocked and you’re having severe symptoms, surgery may be necessary. A vein from another part of the body can be used to “bypass” and reroute blood around the closed artery.

Benefits of Bypass Surgery Are:

  • Relieves PAD Symptoms
  • Restores Blood Flow To Extremities
  • Treatment Lasts Many Years

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