• Diagnosis of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

    The most common symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD) is pain and cramping in the legs, called intermittent claudication. If your legs cramp after walking short distances, your doctor may want to look for disease in the arteries that supply your legs. The physical exam usually consists of looking at your feet and feeling for pulses in your legs and feet. Tests may include:
    • Blood tests—Your doctor will review your blood fats and/or your blood sugar. If either is elevated, it may be a treatable cause of PAD.
    • Ankle-brachial index—This is a blood pressure recordings in the legs and arms.
    • Doppler ultrasonography —This is a small device that can detect blood flow using sound waves. The test is fast, painless, and harmless.
    • Angiography —During this procedure, x-rays are taken while dye is being injected into the blood vessels. The x-rays can show blockages. This test is invasive and is usually only done in more serious cases.
    • CT angiography—This involves using CT scan technology along with angiography to show the blood vessels.
    • MRI scan —Magnetic waves are used to take images of the body.
    You will also be evaluated for accompanying problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure , and elevated levels of cholesterol and other blood fats.

    References

    CT angiography. Vascular Web website. Available at: http://www.vascularweb.org/vascularhealth/Pages/ct-angiography.aspx . Updated September 4, 2009. Accessed September 14, 2012.

    How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pad/diagnosis.html . Updated April 1, 2011. Accessed September 14, 2012.

    Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of lower extremities. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated July 10, 2012. Accessed September 14, 2012.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    Maybe it's time to stop guessing. If you've been wanting to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.