How Physicians Use Technology to Diagnose Vascular Diseases

Doctors doing procedure on patient

Your blood vessels are among the most important parts of your body because they guarantee optimal blood flow throughout your body. They, however, are also at high risk of blockage and narrowing that affects blood flow. Vascular diseases encompass all conditions that affect the functioning of veins and arteries. The common vascular conditions include pulmonary embolism, hypertension, varicose veins, deep venous thrombosis, and carotid artery disease. If you leave the condition untreated, it could lead to strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure.

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Many London-based medical diagnostic clinics invest in some of the latest technologies to diagnose vascular conditions. The standard non-imaging tests used for vascular diseases include segmental pressure measurements, ankle-brachial indexes, and pulse volume readings of your lower and upper extremities. These might, however, at times, be inconclusive. In this instance, the best choice is to get a visual of what is happening inside your blood vessels. The following are the imaging studies doctors will use to visualize the interiors of your veins and arteries.

Angiography

This is the gold standard for the diagnosis of blockages in your arteries. During an angiography, contrast dye that is often iodine is injected into your bloodstream. X-rays are then taken continually as the dye flows through the blood vessels. The test will take approximately 15 minutes but might last several hours if several arteries are being investigated. In most cases, an angiography is done while the patient is sedated. It is often used for the diagnosis of peripheral artery disease.

Carotid Ultrasound

This uses sound waves that will show the ease of blood flow through your carotid arteries. These are the blood vessels located on either side of your neck. They will deliver blood to your brain from the heart. The decreased blood flow to your brain when dealing with damaged or blocked carotid arteries increases your risk of a stroke.  The sound waves used in a carotid ultrasound are harmless. The test might thus also be used for pregnant women.

Doppler Ultrasound

This test uses sound waves that will measure the blood flow through your arteries and veins. A Doppler ultrasound is often used for your extremities. It can readily detect an abnormality in the blood flow of your arteries and veins. It often diagnoses blood clots in your extremities and any issues that might reduce blood flow. It is commonly used for patients with signs of deep venous thrombosis, superficial thrombophlebitis, arteriosclerosis, and thromboangiitis obliterans.

Venography

Doctors looking at x-ray

This is an x-ray procedure used to visualize the condition of your veins. A contrast material is injected into your veins, and x-rays are taken as it flows through them to assess any issues. Venography is used to pick blood clots, evaluate the extent of varicose veins, or identify the veins that can be used for bypass surgeries or dialysis.

Early diagnosis is essential when dealing with any blood vessel conditions. This is because they will progress fast to fatal complications when not addressed on time. The above imaging studies will, therefore, make a significant difference in the management and outcome of blood vessel conditions.

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