Diagnostic Tests & Procedures
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Leg Arteries

Doctor looking at leg arteries
Atherosclerosis or cholesterol deposits in the aorta and its branches in to the leg can restrict flow and cause pain or fatigue in the hips or legs when walking called claudication. Depending on your symptoms and exam, your doctor may want to assess the flow in these arteries by one of several non-invasive methods.

The simplest test, Lower Extremity Noninvasive test (LENI), involves measuring the blood flow in the arms and various levels of the legs with a series of blood pressure cuffs. Sometimes this test is done after walking on a treadmill.  Another non-invasive test to look at the arteries of the leg is a duplex ultrasound. Here, a technician will use a transducer and water-soluble gel to look at the arteries, measure flow and record images.

What to expect:

  • LENI: You should be prepared for this exam by wearing loose clothes and comfortable walking shoes. You do not need to fast for this test and can take your usual medications. This test takes about an hour.
  • Duplex ultrasound scan: This test requires no special preparation, fasting or change in medications. It can take from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the number of arteries to be scanned.

Depending on the results of this test you may go on to a CT or MRA scan. Some patients may even require an invasive procedure.

Southcoast Physicians Group An affiliate of Southcoast Physicians Group.