Noninvasive Vascular Testing
Noninvasive vascular testing is a painless examination of blood vessels to determine whether disease is present. All of our physicians who read vascular testing results are registered physicians in vascular interpretation and certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Among the tests we offer are ultrasounds, which are noninvasive and use high-frequency sound waves to capture moving images of various parts of the body. Cardiac ultrasounds include:
- Carotid ultrasound to examine the large arteries of the neck that carry blood to the brain, to look for blockages or narrowing of the arteries. A Doppler exam is also performed to evaluate how blood is flowing through the arteries. Both sides of the neck are examined. The test takes about 45 minutes and requires no special preparation.
- Venous ultrasound to evaluate the veins in the arms and legs and look for blood clots. Blood clots in the legs are commonly known as deep venous thrombosis. The venous valves in the legs are examined to look for causes of varicose veins. In the lower extremities, veins are examined from the ankle to the groin; in the upper extremities, veins are examined from the wrist to the neck. A complete exam can take up to one hour and requires no special preparation.
- Renal artery ultrasound to evaluate the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys. This exam can take up to 1½ hours to complete and requires fasting for 6 to 8 hours beforehand.
- Mesenteric artery ultrasound to evaluate the arteries that supply blood to the digestive organs. A 6- to 8-hour fast is required prior to this test.
- Abdominal aorta ultrasound to check for any areas of aneurysm formation in the aorta, the largest artery in the body, which carries blood from the heart through the abdomen into the legs. This exam can take up to one hour and requires fasting for 6 to 8 hours beforehand.
The peripheral arterial exam is another vascular test that is used to measure the location and severity of peripheral arterial disease. Blood pressure cuffs are placed at intervals on the arms and legs and then inflated to evaluate the volume of blood any blockages or narrowing of the arteries. You may be asked to walk on a treadmill. The exam takes about one hour and requires no special preparation.