Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute Offers Testing for Vascular Conditions

 

CMHVI offers a number of tests for determining vascular conditions. These tests are painless and essential in diagnosing conditions. They include:

Abdominal Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound is a painless test that provides information about internal organs and blood vessels within the abdomen.

Sound waves are used to produce images. The ultrasound may be prescribed for patients with kidney, liver, gallbladder, appendix, pancreatic, spleen or arterial issues.

The exam may take up to an hour. Patients recline while the technician uses a wand and gel to transmit soundwaves, which are then recorded as images.

Ankle-brachial Index (ABI)

Ankle-brachial Index (ABI) testing measures blood pressure in the arms and legs for comparative analysis. The ratio of the two measurements can indicate if there is a blood flow problem in the legs.

ABI testing is a non-invasive flow study (NIFS) used to diagnose claudication, experienced as pain while walking, may be caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD, a form of atherosclerosis, causes arteries to narrow and leg muscles to receive less blood, and therefore less oxygen.

Diagnosing this condition is important, as it may precede cardiovascular issues, including heart attack or stroke.

The test takes 45 minutes to an hour. No special preparation is needed.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening for Qualified Seniors

Seniors who have recently enrolled in Medicare may be qualified to receive a free ultrasound screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms.

If you are a male who has smoked at some time in your life, or if you are a male or a female with a family history of AAA, you qualify.

For more information, ask your primary healthcare provider or call Medicare.

Arterial Duplex Ultrasound

An arterial duplex ultrasound is used to evaluate issues involving arteries and/or veins of the arms and/or legs.

This painless, non-invasive procedure uses sound waves to gather information. Blood flow is measured and images of the blood vessels are taken. The technician transmits sound waves with the use of a wand that is gently passed over the areas being studied. The procedure takes about an hour.

Carotid Ultrasound

Carotid ultrasound is a simple and painless procedure that allows doctors to evaluate the carotid arteries in the neck. These major arteries supply blood to the brain. When blood flow to the brain is insufficient, a stroke and/or death are possible.

The ultrasound may reveal blood clots (thrombosis), narrowing of the arteries (stenosis), or other blockages. The ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of the blood vessels so blood flow can be evaluated.

Segmental Pressure Testing

Segmental pressure testing is similar to ankle-brachial index (ABI) testing, but involves two or three additional blood pressure cuffs. These are placed just below the knee, just above the knee, and at the upper thigh. Blood pressure at each point is recorded. Significant drops between body segments may suggest blockages or narrowing in the arteries.

Segmental pressure testing is a non-invasive flow study (NIFS) used to diagnose claudication, experienced as pain while walking, may be caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD, a form of atherosclerosis, causes arteries to narrow and leg muscles to receive less blood, and therefore less oxygen.

Diagnosing this condition is important, as it may precede cardiovascular issues, including heart attack or stroke.

The test takes 45 minutes to an hour. No special preparation is needed.

Venous Ultrasound Imaging

Venous Ultrasound Imaging capture real-time images of the inside of the body. Venous ultrasound, in particular, looks at blood flow through veins in the arms or legs.

Ultrasound is easy-to-use, less expensive than other imaging methods, and does not emit any ionizing radiation. For standard diagnostic ultrasound there are no known harmful effects on humans.

Venous ultrasound studies are used to evaluate varicose veins; assist in the placement of a needle or catheter into a vein; evaluate veins in the leg or arm for potential use for bypassing a narrowed or blocked blood vessel (graft); and examine a blood vessel graft.

Venous ultrasound is used to search for blood clots, especially in leg veins. Often called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, these clots can cause a dangerous condition called pulmonary embolism if they move to the lungs. However, if a blood clot in the leg is detected early enough, proper treatment can prevent it from passing to the lung.

A doctor specifically trained to supervise and interpret imaging examinations (radiologist) analyzes the ultrasound results and sends a report to the patient's primary care provider and/or to the physician who referred the patient for the exam.