Diagnosis Heart & Vascular

Peripheral Artery Disease

In making a diagnosis of peripheral artery disease (PAD), your doctor will take your complete medical history and conduct a physical exam. You will also have one or more of the following tests to confirm a diagnosis:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) is a simple way to measure the blood flow in your legs using an ankle cuff, which the doctor inflates until the beat of your pulse is no longer heard. Pressure is then released from the cuff and your blood pressure is recorded.
  • Duplex Ultrasound A test to see how blood moves through your arteries and veins
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Angiography is used to visualize the arteries bringing blood to your brain, lungs, kidneys, arms and legs.
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) An exam of the blood vessels.

You may also have blood tests to measure your cholesterol, homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood, and certain proteins.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.