Peripheral vascular disease - Doppler; PVD - Doppler; PAD - Doppler; Blockage of leg arteries - Doppler; Intermittent claudication - Doppler; Arterial insufficiency of the legs - Doppler; Leg pain and cramping - Doppler; Calf pain - Doppler; Venous Doppler - DVT
This test uses ultrasound to look at the blood flow in the large arteries and veins in the arms or legs.
The test is done in the ultrasound or radiology department, a hospital room, or in a peripheral vascular lab.
During the exam:
You will need to remove clothes from the arm or leg being examined.
Sometimes, the person performing the test will need to press on the vein to make sure it does not have a clot. Some people may feel slight pain from the pressure.
The test may also be used to:
A normal result means the blood vessels show no signs of narrowing, clots, or closure, and the arteries have normal blood flow.
Abnormal results may be due to:
This test may also be done to help assess the following conditions:
There are no risks from this procedure.
Cigarette smoking may alter the results of this test. Nicotine can cause the arteries in the extremities to constrict.
Quitting smoking lowers the risk for problems with the heart and circulatory system. Most smoking-related deaths are caused by cardiovascular problems, not lung cancer.
Bonaca MP, Creager MA. Peripheral artery diseases. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Bhatt DL, Solomon SD, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 43.
Gerhard-Herman MD, Gornik HL, Barrett C, et al. 2016 AHA/ACC Guideline on the management of patients with lower extremity peripheral artery disease: executive summary. Vasc Med. 22(3):NP1-NP43. PMID: 28494710 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28494710/.
Lockhart ME, Umphrey HR, Weber TM, Robbin ML. Peripheral vessels. In: Rumack CM, Levine D, eds. Diagnostic Ultrasound. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 27.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 1/9/2022
Reviewed By: Jason Levy, MD, Northside Radiology Associates, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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