Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common cause of lower extremity pain. After physical examination and obtaining an ankle brachial index (ABI), physicians often use a lower extremity ultrasound to determine the extent of disease. Ultrasound is also used to follow the progression of disease after open or endovascular intervention.
While CT scans and x-rays will rely on radiation to produce an image, an ultrasound scan does not. Instead, an ultrasound uses sound waves. Arterial ultrasounds are usually duplex images. This means the imaging includes anatomic information and also monitors the speed of blood flow through narrow areas, which determines the amount of stenosis.
Although ultrasound imaging is excellent for screening as well as for monitoring previous procedures, occasionally more information is needed. Other imaging modalities include magnetic resonance imagine (MRI), computed tomography angiography (CTA), or conventional angiography for a more detailed picture. Conventional angiography also has the ability to provide treatment as well as diagnose abnormalities.
The quality of any ultrasound image depends on multiple factors. These include the skill of the technician, the quality of the ultrasound machine, and the expertise of the physician reading the scan. Patients requiring an arterial ultrasound should seek a physician with a “RPVI” certification. RPVI stands for registered physician in vascular interpretation. To achieve this certification physicians must provide proof they have had instruction in vascular ultrasound as well as pass an examination showing expertise necessary to interpret vascular ultrasounds.
Dr. Kazil is a leading Vascular Surgeon in Bradenton, FL who works at the Florida Surgical Clinic in Manatee County. Dr. Kazil is RPVI certified. She has experience in both reading vascular ultrasounds as well as endovascular and open vascular interventions. Patients looking for an accomplished Bradenton Vascular Surgeon should contact Dr. Kazil at the Florida Surgical Clinic for the highest quality vascular care available.