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Peripheral Arterial Disease Diagnosis

To diagnose PAD, your physician will perform a physical exam, order blood tests and review your medical history. Your doctor will also use diagnostic tests including:

  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a test that compares the blood pressure in your arm with the blood pressure in your leg.
     
  • Doppler ultrasound is a non-invasive test that uses high-frequency sound waves to check for blood clots in the arteries.
     
  • Coronary CT angiography is used to assess a person’s blood flow. During this test, dye (contrast material) is injected into the blood vessels and a CT (computed tomography) scan is used to take pictures of the blood as it flows to the heart.  
     
  • Coronary angiography is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a catheter (a long, thin flexible tube) inserted into a blood vessel in the leg, arm, or neck to take pictures of the coronary artery opening. This test allows doctors to measure the size and rate of blood flow through the artery. Contrast dye is used to make it easier to see and evaluate the artery opening.