Arterial Doppler Exam of the Lower Extremities


An arterial doppler study is used to evaluate the arteries in your legs for plaque buildup or narrowing also known as peripheral vascular disease.

This study is made up of two parts. The first part evaluates the blood pressures in your arms and legs. The sonographer will take your blood pressure in both arms. You will then have blood pressure cuffs wrapped around your ankles. The technician will evaluate your blood pressure in each of those four segments. The sonographer looks for any significant differences in blood pressure between the arms and legs. 


The sonographer will perform an arterial ultrasound after the blood pressures are complete. This test is done using an ultrasound machine to take sound wave pictures of the arteries in your legs. For this part as well as the first, you will be asked to lie down on your back. The sonographer will apply a special gel on your legs and move the ultrasound probe up and down your leg following the arteries. The sonographer will start very high on your leg, looking and listening to the blood flow all the way down your leg to the ankle. This part will show specifically if plaque or blockages are present, where they are located and how significant they are. 

The full exam takes approximately on hour to complete.

There is no prep for this test. Please do not wear dresses to avoid fully undressing.