Peripheral Artery Disease Screening in Tulsa, Ok

peripheral artery disease ultrasound tulsa

What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is an abnormal narrowing of arteries other than those that supply blood to the heart or brain. When narrowing occurs in the heart, it is called coronary artery disease, and in the brain, it is called cerebrovascular disease. However, peripheral artery disease most commonly affects the legs.

Plaque builds up in the legs and can break off, causing a stroke, leg pain while walking, and you can lose limbs and toes if plaque is present.

What Causes Peripheral Artery Disease?

Atherosclerosis or the buildup of cholesterol in the walls of arteries is the main cause of PAD. Cholesterol deposition in the arteries supplying blood to the limbs reduces blood supply to the affected limbs, leading to symptoms. Other causes that may lead to PAD include:

  • Blood vessel inflammation
  • Injury to limbs that damage the arteries
  • Abnormalities of the ligaments or muscles in the legs
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
  • Increasing age
  • Family history
  • High levels of homocysteine

What does the screening entail?

  1. The patient should rest supine, with arms and legs at the level of the heart, on an exam table in a warm room for at least 10 minutes before testing.
  2. Choose an appropriately sized blood pressure cuff for both arms and ankles (cuff width should be, at a minimum, 20% greater than the diameter of the extremity).
  3. Place blood pressure cuffs on the arm and ankle on the side to be measured first.
  • The ankle cuff should go on the leg between the malleolus and the calf.
  1. Apply ultrasound gel over brachial, dorsalis pedis, and posterior tibial arteries.
  2. Measure systolic pressure in arms.
  • Use vascular Doppler to locate brachial pulse (medial side of the antecubital fossa).
  • Inflate cuff 20 mm Hg above last audible pulse.
  • Deflate the cuff slowly and record the pressure at which the pulse becomes audible.
  • Obtain 2 measures in each arm and record the average as the brachial pressure in that arm.
  1. Measure systolic pressure in ankles
  • Use vascular Doppler to locate dorsalis pedis (DP) pulse (dorsum of the foot between the proximal section of the first and second metatarsals).
  • Inflate cuff 20 mm Hg above last audible pulse.
  • Deflate the cuff slowly and record the pressure at which the pulse becomes audible.
  • Obtain 2 measures in each ankle and record the average as the dorsalis pedis pressure in that leg.
  1. Repeat step 6 for posterior tibial (PT) arteries (just dorsal and inferior to the medial malleolus).
  2. Calculate ABI.

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