What test can be done to diagnose PVD?
PVD is largely a clinical diagnosis aided by tests. At our clinic, all patients suspected of having PVD will undergo comprehensive screening with a full history of possible risk factors and symptoms. A thorough physical examination will also follow.
This includes examination of the pulses in the foot by experienced Vascular Surgeons specially trained to detect abnormal pulses. Some basic investigations can be performed to screen for high cholesterol, kidney function as well a diabetic control. Other investigations include:
- Arterial and Venous Duplex Ultrasound Scans
- CT Angiograms
- MR Angiograms
- Minimally invasive Diagnostic Angiograms
- Ankle Brachial Pressure and Toe Pressure Indices
- Transcutaneous Oxygen Measurement (TCOM)
- Laser Doppler assessment of microcirculation
A) Duplex Ultrasound
A duplex ultrasound is a non invasive method of detecting and quantifying the narrowing in the blood vessels. It is performed by a trained sonographer and is verified by a Radiologist. It is a painless procedure performed on a couch and takes 1-2 hours.
After the Ultrasound, a virtual map of the arteries of the leg can be drawn depicting the blockages in the arteries of the leg.
B) CT Angiogram
A CT Angiogram (Computer Tomography Angiogram) is a CT scan dedicated to look at the arteries of the body. After administration of intravenous dye, a scan lasting 10-15 minutes will be obtained. This is done using a small amount of X ray. A virtual picture like the following can be obtained.
C) MR Angiogram
A MRA is similar to a CT scan except that it is time consuming but gives better resolution if the vessels in certain cases. It can be done with or without dye administration.
D) Diagnostic Angiogram
A diagnostic angiogram is the Gold Standard in diagnosing blockages in the arteries. It involves an injection commonly in the groin region and administration of a limited amount of dye to visualize the arteries.