|Peripheral Arterial Ultrasound|
|What is it?||
Peripheral arterial disease – also known as P.A.D. – is a common, yet serious, disease. It occurs when extra cholesterol and other fats circulating in the blood collect in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to your limbs. This buildup- called plaque- narrows your arteries, often reducing or blocking the flow of blood. P.A.D. is most commonly seen in the legs, but also can be present in the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach. Nearly everyone who has P.A.D. — even those who do not have leg symptoms — suffers from an inability to walk as fast or as far as they could before P.A.D.
What causes P.A.D.?
The cause of plaque buildup in the limbs is unknown in most cases. However, there are some conditions and habits that raise your chance of developing P.A.D.
You increase your risk if you:
Most people with P.A.D. have one or more conditions or habits that raise the risk for heart disease: smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or high blood cholesterol.
|How is P.A.D. diagnosed?||
A basic test is a simple non-invasive test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). Painless and easy, the ABI compares the blood pressure readings in your ankles with the blood pressure readings in your arms. An ABI can help determine whether you have P.A.D., but it cannot identify which arteries are narrowed or blocked.
A Doppler Ultrasound test is used to see whether a specific artery is open or blocked. This test uses sound waves to measure the blood flow in the veins and arteries in your arms and legs.
|What are the Signs and Symptoms of P.A.D.?||
The overall goals for treating P.A.D. are to reduce any symptoms, improve quality of life and mobility, and prevent heart attack, stroke, and amputation. There are three main approaches to treating P.A.D.: making lifestyle changes; taking medication, and in some cases, having a special procedure or surgery. Your health care provider will determine the best treatment options for you, based on your medical history and the severity of your condition.
More information can be obtained @ www.PADCoalition.org