What is a PVR test and why you may need it: Diagnosis and treatment of peripheral arterial disease

PVR test is a medical technique that implies measurement of blood pressure in upper and lower limbs and detection of blood flow issues (mainly poor circulation due to the blockage or narrowing of the coronary arteries) using cuffs which are placed on arms and legs for inflation and Doppler device for examining blood flow in various parts of the body. It can be used to determine the speed and direction of blood flow in the veins and arteries, the amount of pressure that blood exerts on vessels while the heart is beating. A Doppler ultrasound of the upper extremities is carried out in the diagnosis of diseases of the veins and arteries, and if a patient has an array of complaints, including edema, arm tightness and heaviness, cramps or muscular spasm, numbness, tingling, or coldness in hands. Noninvasive PVR tests are also required if one of the arms is enlarged.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

PVR test for legs is performed by a medical specialist similarly to the examination of the upper limbs, as in case if a patient suffers diabetes and other chronic diseases, varicose veins, trophic changes of the skin of the legs, pain during exercising or walking. By comparing the pressures in the lower and upper limbs and calculating the Ankle-brachial index, specialists receive information for an accurate diagnosis of peripheral artery disease and the development of the correct therapy.

Risk factors for PAD

About 12% of the world’s population experience PAD of different stages, with men being affected more often than women. Risk factors are the same as in atherosclerosis: age, arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids), smoking (including passive smoking). Other risk factors include obesity and high homocysteine levels.

Symptoms and signs

In the initial stage, patients do not feel any discomfort, but they may notice signals, such as the pallor of the limbs and a decrease in the ability of wounds to heal. In the second stage, pain occurs during movement because the muscles are not getting enough oxygen. Typically, PAD causes intermittent claudication: soreness and muscle spasm. It can be a mild, moderate, or severe form of lameness. If you have any of the complaints listed below, be sure to notify your doctor, and get ready to have a PVR test:

  • increased pain and impaired sensitivity in the limb;
  • excessive dryness, cracking, and inflammation;
  • sores on toes, heels, or shins.

Without treatment, the disease progresses steadily and the quality of life drastically goes down.

What is a PVR test procedure and is there any special preparation before the test?

First of all, a health care specialist will place blood pressure cuffs on the particular spots on your body. Then, using Doppler, the physician will get information about your blood flow. The use of this device involves the application of ultrasound gel. This painless process can take from 30 to 90 minutes. Before the PVR test, try to avoid smoking at least 24 hours before. You also don’t need to stop taking the medications.

PAD treatment

The most pivotal objectives of disease therapy are:

  • urgent elimination of risk factors;
  • purposeful physical exercises in the form of walking, which promote collateral circulation;
  • drug therapy that is aimed at preventing blood clots and improving blood flow through the dilation of blood vessels.

Patients respond to medications in a different way. Therefore, for the selection of the most effective therapy, be sure to consult reliable specialists of the Advanced Medical Care center to gain efficient outcomes and improve your health.

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