Noninvasive Vascular Diagnosis and Imaging

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All vascular medicine clinicians are experts in diagnostic vascular imaging. Your symptoms, examination and simple diagnostic testing can usually define the cause and risks associated with most vascular diseases.

Most vascular disease visits are best served by performance of a series of noninvasive, risk-free tests that measure blood flow in arteries or veins.

Many of these tests use inflatable cuffs similar to those used to measure blood pressure. These tests can be performed either before or after a regular office visit. We encourage you to understand these tests and their results.

  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI): The ABI test measures the systolic blood pressure at the ankles and the arms to determine if PAD is present and to define its severity. This test may also be performed before and after treadmill exercise in order to determine if leg symptoms are due to PAD and to clarify the functional impairment, if any.
  • Toe-brachial index (TBI): The TBI test measures the systolic blood pressure in the great toe of both legs and can be helpful to determine if PAD is present is some patients, and most commonly in individuals with diabetes or toe wounds.
  • Duplex arterial or venous ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to evaluate artery or vein structure and to measure blood flow
  • Computed tomography angiography (CTA): This test provides detailed images of blood vessels and tissue using a donut-shaped XRay camera and usually requires the administration of a medication to reveal invisible arteries and veins
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA): This test provides detailed images of blood vessels using a tube like magnetic resonance imaging camera and also usually requires the administration of a medication to reveal invisible arteries and veins

All diagnostic tests may be performed at our two convenient locations:

University of Minnesota “M Health” – Main campus
University of Minnesota “M Health” – Southdale campus