Peripheral Artery Ultrasound

This type of ultrasound tests for blockages in the legs caused by Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). The test uses Doppler ultrasound which provides good information about the anatomy and physiology of the vessels. This test is not painful. Gel is applied along the leg and an ultrasound probe is run along the course of the artery to locate any obstructions or occlusions. The length and severity of lesions can then be determined. This test can be helpful in planning future treatment and/or intervention if needed, such as angioplasty and Peripheral Stenting or surgical bypass of the affected artery.

Reasons for this test

Your doctor may order this test for you if have a positive Ankle-Brachial Index test or if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Claudication (leg pain occurring with walking and relieved by rest)
  • Severe leg pain occurring at rest and most notable while lying down
  • Non-healing leg, foot or toe sores
  • Weak or absent pulses
  • Cold feet and toes

How to Prepare for the Test

There are no special instructions for preparing for this test. You should wear comfortable clothing and may want to bring a pair of loose fitting shorts to wear during the test.


During your follow up visit your physician will discuss the results as well as any further tests or treatment that may be needed.