What is a Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) study?

A PVR study is a noninvasive vascular test often done in conjunction with an ankle brachial index (ABI) to detect blockages in the legs. 

What is an ABI/PVR?

The ABI is a measurement of the blood pressure in the lower leg compared to the blood pressure in the arm. Your physician will compare the two numbers to determine your ABI. Normally, the blood pressures in your ankle and arm should be about equal. But if your ankle pressure is lower than your arm pressure, it could be a sign that your leg arteries are narrowed.

The PVR is a test which uses blood pressure cuffs and a hand held ultrasound device (Doppler) to obtain information about the arterial blood flow in the arms and lefts. 

The blood pressure cuffs are placed on the arm and leg and inflated, while the Doppler is used to listen to the blood flow in the leg and arm.

Why do I need an ABI/PVR?

Your physician has recommended that you have this test to evaluate the blood flow in your arms and legs. This test is used to evaluate the presence of peripheral arterial disease or PAD.

What should I expect during the PVR test  

There is no preparation for the test. You will be asked to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt for the test and you will be required to remove your shoes and socks. Blood pressure cuffs will be applied to your arms and legs and at various times will be inflated.  Some patients may experience discomfort at the time of inflation. The technician will explain each step to you during the test and will stop the test if you experience increased pain. You will be able to resume your normal activities after the test is complete. The test takes approximately 45 minutes.  

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