Ultrasound Clinical Guide: Arteries of the Legs

Peripheral arterial disease can be tough to diagnose and may require urgent treatment, so it is vital to know how to use and interpret arterial ultrasounds. This clinical guide will show you how to identify symptoms, perform a basic arterial duplex and ankle-brachial index (ABI), and interpret the findings, so that you can give immediate results to your patients.

24 Articles | Guide last updated - 9th Feb 2021

Overview of lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD)

Peripheral artery disease presents in various forms and urgency stages. The articles in this chapter will teach you to recognize the symptoms of lower extremity atherosclerosis, popliteal artery entrapment, aneurysms, and pseudoaneurysms. Differentiating between diabetic ulcers, venous ulcers, and arterial ulcers can be particularly challenging, so we’ll cover a few tips and tricks that will help you make an accurate diagnosis in no time! 

Ordering and interpreting ankle-brachial index testing

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is the bread and butter of arterial ultrasounds. But, it can be a confusing concept for beginners. In this chapter, you’ll learn the rules for calculating indices, interpreting indices and waveforms, and applying the ultrasound findings. This guide chapter also explains the toe-brachial index (TBI) and exercise testing, so you’ll be well-equipped to make fast and accurate diagnoses. 

How to perform a basic ankle-brachial index (ABI)

Now that you’re familiar with the basic concepts of the ankle-brachial index (ABI), it’s time to get practical! The articles in this chapter will teach you how to perform a basic ABI both manually and with a machine.  

When to order and how to interpret a basic arterial duplex

This chapter will help you take your knowledge of arterial ultrasound to the next level. These articles introduce the arterial duplex test for the diagnosis of peripheral artery disease. The arterial duplex is a valuable tool for pinpointing the stenosis location and quantifying the percentage of stenosis. You’ll learn the basics of duplex images, waveforms, and velocities for a comprehensive ultrasound study in your patients.

How to perform an arterial duplex

After reading this chapter, you’ll feel confident using an ultrasound machine to diagnose patient cases in the acute setting! This portion of the guide reviews relevant ultrasound machine buttons, transducers, orientations, landmarks, and a basic protocol for lower extremity arterial duplex tests. 

How to assess anomalies and surgical cases on ultrasound

Going beyond the ankle-brachial index (ABI) and the arterial duplex test, you’ll cover unique situations where your scanning skills will prove indispensable. In this guide chapter, you’ll learn how to recognize and examine stents and bypass grafts, locate and measure aneurysms, and diagnose pseudoaneurysms on an ultrasound machine.