MercyOne Iowa Heart Center offers a complete range of vascular testing services. All are performed by highly trained vascular technicians who specialize in the diagnosis of vascular disease. A vascular screenings will evaluate for three of the most recognized vascular problems: abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease, and peripheral arterial disease.
Ankle brachial index (ABI)
What it does: the ABI screens for peripheral artery disease in the lower extremities. An abnormal ABI may indicate peripheral artery disease, or a high risk of peripheral artery disease, as well as a high risk of coronary heart disease. The test is extremely important for anyone complaining of pain in their legs when they walk.
How it's done: the ABI is performed using several blood pressure cuffs, placed on the ankles and arms, and also an ultrasound probe. The screening takes approximately 10 minutes.
What it does: a carotid ultrasound allows physicians to visualize plaque in the carotid arteries. Plaque deposits in the carotid arteries are a leading risk factor for stroke.
How it's done: carotid ultrasound involves the use of an acoustic gel and ultrasound transducer. The transducer is moved around the neck as the technologist works to create a clear picture of the inside of the carotid arteries. The screening takes approximately 10 minutes.
What it does: abdominal ultrasound is used to identify an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a dangerous condition – ruptured aneurysms most often lead to death.
How it's done: the abdominal ultrasound involves the use of an acoustic gel and ultrasound transducer. The transducer is moved around the abdomen as the technologist works to create the clearest picture of the aorta. The screening takes approximately 10 minutes.
For more information, or to schedule vascular screening exams, call (515) 633-3600.