If you have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, you may be at risk for problems regarding arteries throughout your body, as well. For example, the arteries leading to your brain, kidneys, arms, and legs can narrow, block, or form blood clots, causing strokes and other problems.
Your healthcare provider may send you to a peripheral vascular lab to assess these any other related problems. There, technicians perform ultrasounds of various veins and arteries throughout your body. This is a safe and painless test, using sound waves to search for plaque buildup, narrowed arteries, and an estimate of how many veins or arteries are blocked. These studies can be performed in four ways:
- Peripheral. Searches for blocked or narrow arteries in your arms and legs
- Carotid. Studies blocked or narrowed carotid arteries in your neck
- Abdominal. Studies blood flow in the aorta, a major artery extending from the heart. Also studies arteries leading to the kidneys, intestines, and liver.
- TCD (Trans-cranial Doppler) ultrasound. Studies the brain’s blood flow.