Vascular Testing

Health Centers

Sirona Vascular Center
1100 South Eliseo Drive 
Suite 2A
Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone: 415-925-8346
Fax: 415-464-5413

Additional Locations

When a physician suspects a patient has a vascular disease, the diagnosis needs to be confirmed through vascular testing. Testing is performed by a vascular technologist/sonographer. Different tests evaluate blood flow, perfusion (how efficiently the blood reaches tiny capillaries in organs and tissues) and the pressure within blood vessels — both at rest and during exercise. Vascular tests are used to detect the presence, severity, and general location of arterial disease. Most vascular tests are non-invasive and can be performed in the non-invasive vascular laboratory.

Visit the Vascular Testing Locations page for a list of the tests we offer at each of our locations.

Vascular Ultrasound

A vascular ultrasound is a painless, noninvasive test that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the blood vessels. In a vascular ultrasound, sound waves bounce off of the blood cells as they travel through the blood vessels. This allows physicians to calculate the speed of blood flow and identify narrowed arteries. Frequently performed ultrasounds include:

  • Carotid artery ultrasound
  • Renal artery ultrasound
  • Aortoiliac and peripheral artery ultrasound
  • Venous ultrasound of both the upper and lower extremities
  • Venous reflux testing (ultrasound of varicose veins)

Arterial and Vein Mapping

When a venous ultrasound test is performed to help determine which blood vessels are good candidates for use in lower extremity bypass graft or coronary artery bypass graft surgery, the procedure is called vein mapping.

Pulse Volume Recordings of the Upper and Lower Extremities

Pulse volume recording (PVR) is a test that measures blood flow in the leg arteries. PVR is used to diagnose the peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the legs and find the general location of the blockage.

Exercise and Treadmill Testing of the Upper and Lower Extremities

This test measures a patient’s heart rate and blood pressure while he or she is walking on a treadmill.

Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) with Stress

This test compares the blood pressure in the arms and the ankles. If the pressure in the legs is lower, this may be an indication of peripheral artery disease (PAD). An ABI can be performed at rest, while the patient is on a treadmill, or “with stress.” Performing the test with stress can diagnose early PAD in patients whose ankle-brachial index is normal when they are not exerting themselves.

Lower Extremity Graft Surveillance

This term refers to tests that monitor patients who have undergone graft surgery to restore adequate blood flow in the legs.

Segmental Pressure Measurements

This test uses several blood pressure cuffs on the leg to measure blood pressure at different locations. A drop in pressure between two cuffs indicates a narrowing of the artery, or a blockage, in that part of the leg.

Routine Surveillance Ultrasound for Dialysis Access

Patients who are on dialysis are at risk for access stenosis — a constricting of the access portal used in dialysis — which puts them at risk for dangerous blood clots. Routine surveillance ultrasound allows physicians to monitor patients for access stenosis and treat it before a clot can develop.

Upper Extremity Arterial and Venous Ultrasound for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a condition in which nerves and/or blood vessels are compressed between the base of the neck and the armpit. This test views the arm as it is placed in multiple positions to determine what might be restricting blood flow from the body to the arms