Arterial Doppler

An arterial Doppler study is used to evaluate the arteries in your legs for peripheral artery disease PAD.

Before the test:

Generally, no prior preparation, such as fasting or sedation is required. You may want to wear loose , comfortable clothing that allows the technician performing your test to easily access your ankles and upper arm.

During the test:

This test is done in our office and this study is made up of two parts. The first part evaluated the blood pressures in your arms and legs.

  1. The technician will take your blood pressure in both arms.
  2. You will then have blood pressure cuffs wrapped around two different segments of your legs. This is to evaluate your blood pressure in each of those two segments. The pressures are compared to see if there are any significant differences in blood pressure between segments.
  3. The second part is called the arterial duplex scan. This uses an ultrasound machine to take sound wave pictures of the arteries in your legs. You will be asked to lie down on your back.
  4. The technician will apply a special gel to the ultrasound probe and move it around your legs. The technician will start very high on your leg, as the machine measures the blood flowing through the vessel; it makes a swishing noise in time with the rhythm of your heartbeat. This part will show specifically if plaque or blockages are present, where they are located and how sever they are.

After the test:

You may resume your usual diet and activities unless you doctor advises you otherwise.

Generally, there is no special care following an arterial doppler.

Risk for patients:

None

Some patients may feel discomfort during the test.