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PAD Diagnosis Overview

PAD Testing Overview Flow Chart

All women with symptoms of PAD in the legs should have an examination and tests to diagnose PAD. The earlier you are diagnosed, the better your chances of avoiding serious complications of PAD including amputation, heart attack, and stroke.

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Ultrasound for PVD

Picture of an ultrasound technologist performing the test

Ultrasound is a diagnostic test that uses reflected sound waves—like those used to see the fetus during pregnancy—to create detailed images of the inside of the body, including the arteries and veins.

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Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) Test

Illustration of how the Ankle-Brachial Index Test is performed

An ABI test is a simple, reliable test for diagnosing PAD in the legs. The test measures the blood pressure in your ankles and compares it to that in your arms. If the blood pressure is lower in your legs than in your arms, it may indicate that PAD is restricting blood flow in your legs.

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Cardiac Catheterization

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Cardiac catheterization is considered the "gold standard" test for diagnosing coronary artery disease. The test uses a long, thin tube inserted into an artery in your groin and guided up to your heart to detect blockages that can cause a heart attack.

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