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Peripheral vascular disease diagnosis

1-minute read

If your doctor suspects a diagnosis of peripheral vascular disease (PVD), they will usually first carry out a physical examination of your leg.

PVD can cause a number of noticeable signs and symptoms, such as:

  • shiny skin
  • brittle toenails
  • hair loss

The ankle brachial pressure index

The ankle brachial index (ABI) is a widely used test in the diagnosis of PVD, as well as a useful way of assessing how well you are responding to treatment. It compares the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm.

Further testing

In most cases, your doctor will be able to confirm a diagnosis of PVD by doing a physical examination, asking about your symptoms and checking your ABI score. They may also order an ultrasound to look at the blood flow, angiography (where dye is injected into your blood vessels so the doctor can watch the flow of blood using various imaging techniques), or blood tests. They will often refer you to a specialist.

Last reviewed: January 2018

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Peripheral vascular disease

Peripheral vascular disease is the reduced circulation of blood to a body part other than the brain or heart. It is caused by a narrowed or blocked blood vessel. The main cause is atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of fatty deposits that narrow a blood vessel, usually an artery. The narrowed blood vessel reduces the circulation of blood to the associated body part.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Peripheral arterial disease - myDr.com.au

Peripheral arterial disease refers to a narrowing of the blood vessels in the legs. Find out about the symptoms, risk factors, tests and treatment.

Read more on myDr website

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