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Services / Cardiac Testing

Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound and Peripheral Vascular Testing

Peripheral Vascular Testing: Pulse Volume Recording

What is a Pulse Volume Recording Test? 

A Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) Test is a study that evaluates the blood flow in your legs.  During this test an inflatable cuff (similar to a blood pressure cuff used to check the blood pressure in your arm) will be placed on your legs and inflated to measure the pressure within the arteries of your legs.  The pressure is then recorded and compared to the other leg.

Why is a Pulse Volume Recording Test performed?

A pulse volume recording (PVR) may be performed if you have known atherosclerotic disease (a build up of plaque within your arteries causing a narrowing of your blood vessels) and intermittent pain in your legs. A PVR can assess the blood flow in your legs and identify narrowing and blockages within the arteries of your legs.

What is the preparation for a Pulse Volume Recording Test?

There is no special preparation needed for a PVR test.

When is a Pulse Volume Recording Test performed?

A PVR is performed annually to evaluate existing atherosclerotic disease and as needed throughout the year to evaluate new or worsening pain in the legs with exercise.

What if my Pulse Volume Recording Test is abnormal?

Your provider will schedule a visit with you after your test to discuss the results. If you have increased pressure within the arteries of your legs this can be managed with medications to alleviate symptoms. If you have found to have increased pressure and decreased blood flow, surgical interventions may need to be considered to restore blood flow.

Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound Screening

What is an Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound?

An Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound is performed in our vascular lab and it is an ultrasound used to evaluate the aorta (a large artery carrying blood from the heart to the abdominal organs). This test is completed by laying flat on an exam table while our ultrasound technician uses a probe to evaluate the size and blood flow through the aorta within your abdomen.

Why is an Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound performed?

An Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound is performed to assess for a potentially life threatening condition known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). An AAA develops over time as a segment of the aorta widens and the walls of the vessel weaken creating an aneurysm. If the aneurysm where to grow large enough and the vessel wall become weakened enough it can rupture and this can lead to a life threatening condition.

What is the prepatation for an Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound?

In preparation for this ultrasound we ask you have nothing to eat or drink the morning of the test, just small sips of water with your morning medications.

When is an Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound performed?

An Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound may be performed if you have had chronically elevated and untreated hypertension, known atherosclerotic disease, a strong history of smoking, or if there are any abnormal findings on your physical exam.

What if my Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound is abnormal?

If you are found to have a AAA on your ultrasound, the size of the aneurysm will determine your course of treatment. If the aneurysm is small, it will be watched carefully for growth with routine screenings and hypertension will be treated aggressively. If the aneurysm is large enough it may need to be prepared by a vascular surgeon. Your provider will schedule an appointment with you following your ultrasound to go over the results and review the plan for treatment as needed.