Peripheral Arterial Disease
Alternate Names : Peripheral Atherosclerosis, Chronic Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease
How is the disease diagnosed?
Diagnosis of PAD begins with a medical history and physical exam. The healthcare provider may detect weak or absent pulses in the affected arm or leg. With a stethoscope, the provider can often hear a bruit. A bruit is the sound of blood moving through a narrowed artery. The provider may order a Doppler ultrasound. This special imaging method uses sound waves to detect reduced blood flow through narrow arteries.
If the diagnosis is in doubt or if surgery is being considered, an angiogram may be performed. A contrast agent is injected, and special imaging shows the inside of the affected artery. From this, the provider can determine how narrowed the artery is.