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Vascular Studies


What are Vascular Studies?


Vascular Studies are performed to diagnose Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) in the arms and/or legs. Indications for this procedure are pain with exercise (claudication) or pain with rest (rest pain). Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) develops as an obstruction restricts or occludes blood flow in the upper and/ or lower extremities. The loss of blood flow will prevent proper nourishment of the surrounding tissue. An artery can become 70 - 80 percent occluded before any symptoms are present. Other symptoms are pain, lack of pulse, paresthesia, and paralysis. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) can cause the need for limb amputation and even death.

Vascular Studies Prep Guide

Procedure Prep Estimated Time of Exam
Lower Ext. Arterial

May continue with routine meals and medication

For lower extremities patients will asked to remove clothing (except undergarment) from the waist down

This procedure does not have images on film and should not be confused with venous Ultrasound.

Vascular Studies are measurements of the arterial blood flow in the legs obtained with BP cuffs.

1 hour
Upper Ext. Arterial

May continue with routine meals and medication

For upper extremities patients should wear short sleeves or sleeves that easily roll up.

This procedure does not have images on film and should not be confused with venous Ultrasound.

Vascular Studies are measurements of the arterial blood flow in the arms obtained with BP cuffs

1 hour

How is the Procedure Performed?


The technologist will complete a short history and explain the procedure to the patient. The patient must be able to lie supine and remain still during the exam.

Lower Extremity: The Technologist will apply BP cuffs to the ankle, calf, and thigh areas of each leg. Measurements from each cuff will be recorded. After the first measurements from the legs, the technologist will obtain BP from each arm and then from each cuff on the legs again. The cuffs are removed and a gel is applied to the top of foot, knee, and thigh for doppler pulse measurements. The procedure is routinely completed within 45 minutes.

Upper Extremity: Two BP cuffs are applied to each arm at the forearm and humerus area. BP measurements are recorded twice from each arm. The cuffs are removed and a gel is applied to the both wrists for doppler pulse measurements. The procedure is routinely completed within 30 to 45 minutes.

Common Uses for Vascular Studies

Vascular Studies can establish the presence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The severity and location of occlusion can be determined. Prediction of healing potential pre-surgery and follow-up post-op progress can be measured.

Radiology Report Turnaround Process

A Radiologist, who is a physician experienced in Vascular Studies and other radiology procedures will analyze the measurements and send a report to the referring physician. The referring physician will inform the patient of the findings.

We have a departmental goal of 6 hours for Radiology Report Turnaround time. We measure the time from radiology request entry to the time the transcriptionist types the final report. The radiology report is also available via our Digital Dictation System, immediately after Radiologist completes dictation. The DVI system phone number is 377-3745. You must first enter your six (6) digit PIN number, your department number, and the patient’s medical record number to access the report.

What are the Benefits VS Risks?

Benefits-


  • A vascular study is noninvasive
  • No ionizing radiation is used
  • No iodine contrast is used

Risks-

  • For a standard vascular study there are no known harmful effects