If you are experiencing pain, trouble stopping bleeding, or worrisome symptoms affecting your legs, you may be suffering from peripheral artery disease. Luckily, this can be easily detected and diagnosed by an ABI/PVR test. At Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island, New York, we offer this test as part of our comprehensive suite of cardiology evaluations. With the results, we can ensure an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the most effective treatment.
What Is an ABI/PVR?
The pulse volume recording (PVR) test is a diagnostic tool that uses blood pressure cuffs and hand-held ultrasound devices to obtain information about blood flow in your arms or legs. One specific type of PVR is called an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test. As part of this test, your physicians will use the information gained from the PVR to compare your blood flow in your arms and legs to check for any disparities.
An ABI/PVR is mainly used to evaluate patients for peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is characterized by arterial blockages in the legs. Normally, the blood pressure in all your limbs should be the same. If your legs have less blood flow, that is a sign that the arteries are blocked or narrowed by PAD.
The ABI/PVR Procedure
Richmond University Medical Center does not require any special preparations for patients getting an ABI/PVR. We do recommend wearing shorts, a short-sleeved shirt, and shoes that are easy to remove, as you will need to expose your arms and legs for the test.
An ABI/PVR test involves the following procedure:
- You will be asked to expose your arms and legs and sit or lie down on an examining bed.
- Blood pressure cuffs will be applied to your arms and legs and inflated.
- The technician will press a handheld wand called a transducer to the skin on your arms and legs. This will measure blood pressure flow through ultrasound waves.
The entire ABI/PVR test will take 30 to 90 minutes to complete. While you may experience mild discomfort from the pressure cuffs, the test is perfectly safe and has no associated risks. You will be able to resume your daily activities immediately after the test is complete.
When to Get Tested
The physicians at Richmond University Medical Center are likely to administer an ABI/PVR if you are experiencing symptoms of PAD, which include:
- Pain, weakness, coldness, or heaviness in your legs
- Less leg hair than normal
- Discolored skin that’s bluish or abnormally pale
- Impaired healing of leg and foot injuries
- Slow toenail growth
Your physician may also administer the test if you are not experiencing any symptoms but face an increased risk of PAD. Higher risks of PAD can come with a history of smoking, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If you think you may be at risk, speak with your physician.
Schedule Cardiology Testing Today
Tests like an ABI/PVR are tools that are essential to accurately diagnosing your ailment and ensuring a fast and effective treatment. At Richmond University Medical Center, our cardiology physicians utilize their expertise to administer ABI/PVR tests and correctly analyze the results. To make your appointment in Staten Island, contact us today.