Noninvasive Vascular Laboratory Testing
The Vascular Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital specializes in using ultrasound to evaluate for vascular diseases that may affect how well blood flows in the arteries and veins. The Vascular Laboratory examines blood vessels throughout the body that feed major organs and tissue. These tests can help to diagnose and treat many vascular conditions, including peripheral artererial disease (PAD), aneurysms, stroke and thoracic outlet syndrome.
The Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Vascular Laboratory is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission – which speaks to the high standard of care you will receive while under our care.
The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a test that uses inflatable pressure cuffs to assess blood flow in the legs and arms.
What to Expect
A registered vascular technologist (RVT) will measure the blood pressure in your arm and ankles using a blood pressure cuff. The RVT will compare the blood pressure from your ankles and your arm to form an ABI ratio, which is a predictor of how the circulation in your legs is performing.
The duplex ultrasound evaluates the blood flow through your vessels. There are several varying types of ultrasound exams for this, including:
What to Expect
An RVT will place a clear gel on the skin and use an ultrasound scanning probe to obtain images of your veins.
Your report will be reviewed and read by a vascular surgeon who is highly experienced in the reading of Vascular Laboratory examinations. This report will then be available to your referring physician in your electronic health record immediately after it is completed. If follow-up care is needed, you may also have an appointment with a vascular physician who will review your symptoms and the findings of the Vascular Laboratory testing to design a treatment program to improve your condition.
There are usually no side effects or complications associated with ABI and duplex ultrasound examinations.
If your doctor is in the Partners network, they will have access to your results immediately after the attending physician signs the test. If they are not in the Partners network, we will fax them a copy as soon as it is requested by your provider.
If you have access to Partners Patient Gateway, the results will post there usually within 24 hours. Otherwise, you can request a copy from the ordering physician.
Any patient arriving more than 15 minutes late to an appointment will have to be rescheduled. To reschedule your appointment, please call 617-983-7160 as soon as you know you will not be able to make your scheduled testing.
Vascular testing can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the test type.
There is no special preparation you need before coming to your exam.
The Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Vascular Laboratory is located on the third floor of the hospital in Suite 3A.
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