Non-invasive Testing for Vascular Disease

Treating Cardiovascular Diseases in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois

Vascular disease is a general term that refers to various conditions and disorders that affect your blood vessels and blood flow. Non-invasive vascular testing refers to tests that don’t use needles, dyes or radiation when evaluating your blood vessels. Consequently, there are no related risks, complications or side effects associated with them.

Some non-invasive tests use ultrasound. Vascular ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create moving images of your blood vessels and blood flow.

The following are types of non-invasive vascular tests:

  • Ankle brachial index (ABI) is a simple, first-line test that compares your blood pressure in your lower leg to your blood pressure in your arm. If the blood pressure near your ankle is significantly lower than the blood pressure in your arm, it could be a sign that your leg arteries have narrowed.

    Your physician may request that your ABI be performed while you are resting or while you are walking on a treadmill (known as a stress ABI). Sometimes both tests are requested. A toe brachial index may also be included.
  • Doppler ultrasound and duplex ultrasound measure blood flow and identify blood clots in various parts of the body, including the carotid arteries located in your neck, the renal arteries that supply blood to your kidneys, and the arm and leg arteries that form your deep venous system.
  • Vein mapping is often performed before surgery to evaluate the quality of your blood vessels. It is especially helpful before bypass surgery in the heart, arms or legs, or for fistula creation. 

Before and During Non-Invasive Vascular Testing

Non-invasive vascular testsing usually lasts about an hour and requires minimal preparaton. However, if you are having an ultrasound of your renal arteries, you may be required to fast for a minimum of 6 hours prior to your test.

If your doctor has orderd a both a resting and stress ABI, you will need to be able to stand and walk independently on a treadmill. You will also need to refrain from caffeine and nicotine for 2 hours prior to your tests.

Recovery After Non-Invasive Vascular Testing

Non-invasive testing does not require any recovery time. If you were able to drive to the hospital or clinic for your test, you will be able to drive home or back to work afterward.

Leading the Region in Non-Invasive Vascular Testing

Aurora Health Care performs a high volume of non-invasive vascular tests. Our specialized staff and state-of-the-art equipment ensure that your condition is diagnosed correctly and evaluated thoroughly.

Aurora doctors are conveniently located throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. Find a doctor or vascular specialist near you. To get a second opinion or if you need assistance finding a provider, please call 888-649-6892.