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What Tests Are Carried Out To Diagnose PAD?

Peripheral artery disease diagnosis

Diagnosis Of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease, also called PAD, is a health condition that decreases blood flow to your limbs due to narrowed arteries in your legs or arms. When fatty deposits accumulate in the arteries, the arteries will become narrow, leading to insufficient blood flow. Early peripheral artery disease diagnosis means you can get proper treatment in the initial stages of PAD, which also stops your condition from getting worse.

There are various types of tests that are usually conducted by doctors in order to diagnose peripheral artery disease. Some of the common tests for diagnosing peripheral artery disease are ankle-brachial index test (ABI), blood tests, computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, duplex ultrasonography, and angiography.

What Are The Different Tests Conducted To Diagnose PAD?


1. Ankle-Brachial Index Test

If you exhibit symptoms of peripheral artery disease, the doctor is likely to recommend the ankle-brachial index test (ABI), which is one of the most common ways for peripheral artery disease differential diagnosis. This test is conducted in order to check the blood circulation in your limbs, and it will take approximately 10 minutes or even less.

This is a noninvasive test and does not have any side effects. When you are undergoing this test, you need to lie down on a flat surface on your back. Using an ultrasound probe, the healthcare practitioner will note the blood pressure in your arms and ankles.

Your ABI will be determined by calculating a ratio based on the blood pressure values of your arms and ankles. If the ABI value is 0.90 or lower, you are likely to have PAD. If the ABI value is more than 1.3, it indicates that your arteries are stiff and that they might be clogged or not.

2. Blood Tests

Blood tests are also used for peripheral artery disease diagnosis. It is important to note that blood tests alone can not confirm if you are suffering from peripheral artery disease. Instead, they are primarily recommended by doctors in order to know if you have high cholesterol, kidney disease, diabetes, or any other severe health condition.

Blood tests will calculate the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are two main types of fats that usually accumulate as fatty deposits, which commonly leads to peripheral artery disease. In short, blood tests will give a proper idea about your blood sugar levels and elevated blood pressure. This can help your doctor determine whether you have peripheral artery disease or if you are more likely to develop the condition.

3. Exercise Tests

Pulse strength is a type of exercise test that is used as an initial stage diagnosis method for peripheral artery disease. In this test, the healthcare specialist will use a stethoscope to feel your pulse behind the knees, in the groin area, and ankles in order to check the blood circulation.

If there is a damaged or narrowed artery, your pulse will be relatively weak or hard to find. If your arteries have become narrow, it is possible for the physician to hear vascular murmurs as well. Leg-drop tests and leg-elevation tests are also conducted by the doctor to check the blood flow in your lower limbs.

For The Leg-Elevation And Leg-Drop Tests

  • You need to lie down on a flat surface on your back
  • Raise your legs at an angle of 60 degrees
  • Arch and expand your knees for approximately 30 to 60 seconds
  • If your foot is receiving less blood flow, then you may feel pain, or your foot will look pale
  • Raise your upper body only from the flat surface
  • Turn and face the bed’s edge
  • Bring your feet down to the floor
  • The foot with insufficient blood flow will take a longer time to get redder than the healthy foot


4. Duplex Ultrasonography

For peripheral artery disease nursing diagnosis, the doctors will also recommend various types of ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound tests utilize sound waves in order to construct blood vessel images. These are noninvasive tests that make it easier for vein specialists to see the blood vessels and recognize artery blockages.

The duplex ultrasounds utilize B-mode and Doppler technologies to produce images of your blood vessels and show how the blood is circulating within your blood vessels. Ultrasound examinations are occasionally conducted along with a blood pressure cuff. In order to emphasize particular sections of your arteries, the cuff is set on various parts of your leg. This is known as segmental Doppler pressure testing.

Tests To Diagnose PAD

5. Computed Tomography Scan

CT scans are minimally invasive tests. To take a CT scan for peripheral artery disease differential diagnosis, contrast dye and X-rays are used to produce the images of blood vessels in your arteries. CT tests are highly beneficial for people who have stents or pacemakers.

6. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan

For peripheral artery disease diagnosis, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scan is also recommended by your doctor. Unlike CT scans, MRI scans will deliver cross-sectional images of your arteries. This makes it easy for your doctor to check for any abnormalities in your arteries.

7. Angiography

Angiography is a medical imaging examination that infiltrates a contrast dye into your artery. It utilizes imaging technology in order to develop 3D images of the blood in your arteries in your legs, abdomen, and pelvis.

X-rays are obtained in order to check the blood flow in the arteries and identify any artery blockages. The dye helps healthcare professionals clearly notice how the blood is circulating through the arteries in your limbs.

Summary Of Peripheral Artery Disease Diagnosis

If you suspect that you might have peripheral artery disease, it is best to consult a vein specialist like Advanced Medical Group, who will diagnose and recommend the proper PAD treatment depending on the severity of your condition, your medical history, and other factors. Peripheral artery disease diagnosis in the early stages reduces the complications of peripheral artery disease. From ankle-brachial index tests to MRI scans, there are different tests that are carried out for peripheral artery disease nursing diagnosis.

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Fatima Shaik MD


Fatima Shaik is a board certified internist and cardiologist. She specializes in general cardiology and heart rhythm disorders. She cares for patients at Advanced Medical Group in Jersey City and North Bergen. She also performs procedures at Jersey City Medical Center.

She completed her undergraduate education at NYU and received her MD degree for SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She completed her residency training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and her cardiology fellowship at New York Presbyterian Queens. She went on for advanced training in electrophysiology at Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ.
She is trained in device implantation, SVT and atrial fibrillation ablations as well as watchman implantations.
She is fluent in English and Hindi.
She is currently accepting new patients.

Reema Parikh, DPT

Physical Therapist

Reema Parikh received two bachelor’s degrees from Long Island University and Touro College, and graduated as a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Touro College in 2013. In her early years as a DPT, she received an award for excellence in research and taught a course for the national physical therapy licensing board exam. Dr. Parikh has a passion for helping patients on their health journey; she is experienced in all ages and care of patients, ranging from pediatric care to geriatric care. She has hosted live and virtual workouts for varying levels of physical activity, incorporating mobility and strength segments. Dr. Parikh has furthered her education by receiving certifications in many aspects of physical therapy and holistic care including Nutritional PT, Restorative Yoga, Pilates, and Reiki.

Ms. Maria Avila

Maria Avila, NP

Nurse Practitioner

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Aishwarya Parab, PT

Physical Therapist

Aishwarya Parab received her Bachelors in Physiotherapy in India in 2015 and furthered her studies at Long Island University where she graduated with her Masters in Exercise Science, Sports, and Nutrition in 2019. She has experience working with various conditions, including herniated disks, spondylolysis, and post-operative mobility issues. Aishwarya has taken courses to expand her knowledge in the physical therapy world, including spinal mobility courses, neuromuscular reeducation courses, and getting a certificate with Revolution in Motion. Aishwarya finds it exceedingly rewarding to build a long-term relationship with her patients and shows commitment towards providing structured and effective healthcare.

Dr. Prajakta Avhad

Prajakta Avhad, MD

Pain Management located in Franklin Township, Somerset, NJ & East Brunswick, NJ

About Dr. Avhad
Dr. Prajakta Avhad is double board-certified in Pain Management and Anesthesiology. Dr. Avhad received her M.B.B.S. from MIMER, India, and completed her Surgical internship and Anesthesia residency at Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn, New York during which she interned at Memorial Sloan Kettering, St. Luke’s Roosevelt, and Staten Island Hospital.

She then completed her Pain Management Fellowship from Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Dr. Avhad is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and a member of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Dr. Avhad has been in practice in Central and South Jersey for more than 12years. She is a caring physician with expertise and experience in treating a spectrum of Pain conditions like chronic back and neck pain, herniated discs/sciatica with minimally invasive interventional procedures.

Dr. Avhad and her family reside in New Jersey. She is an avid gardener active with her kids, dog, and garden if not tending to her broad and exotic orchid collection.

Radhika Patel PA-C

Radhika Patel, PA-C

Physician Assistant located in Jersey City, NJ

About Patel
Graduating summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a BA in Biological Sciences and minor in Spanish, Radhika Patel obtained experiences in outpatient medicine as well as in emergency medical services prior to pursuing a career as a physician assistant. She graduated from the Rutgers University Physician Assistant program with a Master of Science after training in cardiology, internal medicine, and urgent care, among many other fields at various hospitals and private practices throughout the state of New Jersey. She is a proud member of the team at Advanced Garden State Cardiology and looks forward to meeting with patients each day in our Jersey City office.

Enrique D Chappilliquen Lucio, PA-C

Enrique Chappilliquen, PA-C

Physician Assistant located in Union City, NJ & Jersey City, NJ

About Dr. Chappilliquen
Graduated from Mercy College Physician Assistant Program with a Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Enrique has extensive experience in the medical field for more than 6 years.

He has clinical experience and training in internal medicine, cardiology, general and vascular surgery, hematology, oncology, and emergency medicine. He joined Dr. Richard’s practice in October of 2016. Since then, he has been a dedicated medical provider working in the Union City office and the Hematology/Oncology office in Jersey City as well.

As a Hispanic, he proudly serves his community with passion and devotion. Being able to communicate fluently with his patients allows him the opportunity to provide excellent medical care to the Hispanic community in Union City and Jersey City. Also, sharing the same language, culture, and values as his patients allows him to connect at a personal level with his patients. Enrique continues to develop his knowledge and skills constantly to continue satisfying the needs of his patients.

Dr Christopher Samaniego, DPM

Christopher Samaniego, DPM

Podiatrist located in Jersey City, NJ, Union City, NJ, and West New York, NJ

Christopher Samaniego, DPM, is originally from Freehold, New Jersey. He attended college at Messiah College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Biology. He earned his podiatric medical degree from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, PA and completed his surgical residency training at Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, MI. 

Dr. Samaniego provides comprehensive foot and ankle care at Advanced Medical Group in Jersey City, Union City, and West New York. His specialized surgical training includes

  • Bunion
  • Hammertoe correction
  • Diabetic foot care
  • Fungal nail care
  • Plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, orthotics
  • Gout, warts, neuroma care
  • Flat feet and high arched feet
  • Foot and ankle trauma
  • Adult and paediatric foot conditions
  • Arthritis of the foot and ankle
  • Arthroscopy, joint replacement, minimally invasive techniques

Samaniego is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association. He keeps up to date on the latest surgical techniques and available technology in foot and ankle care.

Prior to joining Advanced Medical Group, Samaniego studied public healthcare in Zambia and assisted in providing care to the local community. He has also presented research at the annual meeting of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Samaniego achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America and volunteered with Troop 454 for scouts with special needs and the Freehold Public Library. In his free time, Samaniego volunteers with his local church community service and youth programs.

Samaniego resides in Jersey City, NJ and maintains his health by cycling and interval training several times a week. He explains, “Healthy doctors inspire healthy patients. I follow the same advice I give my patients, and I read constantly to become a better physician every day. I encourage my patients to ask questions and learn about the cause of their symptoms. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Dr. Merwin Richard, MD. A cardiologist

Merwin Richard, MD

Cardiologist located in Jersey City, NJ & Union City, NJ

As an established board-certified internist and cardiologist, Merwin Richard, MD, has a reputation for helping patients with the most complex of health conditions. He cares for patients at Advanced Medical Group in West New York, Jersey City, and Union City, New Jersey.

Richard began his undergraduate education in medicine at Stanley Medical College in India. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University before relocating to New York City.

After completing both his internship and internal medicine residency through the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Richard went through advanced fellowship training. He completed a cardiovascular fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, then went on to finish a second fellowship in interventional cardiology through Mount Sinai School of Medicine (now Icahn).


Throughout his career, Richard has stayed involved in numerous research projects and previously served as a professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University). Richard went on to become the director of the first cardiac catheterization and interventional laboratory in Jersey City and has extensive training in vein treatments.

To ensure he continues staying up to date with the latest research and techniques, Richard maintains his board memberships. He’s board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology.

Being fluent in English,  Spanish, and Tamil gives Richard the opportunity to communicate with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Richard is currently accepting new patients.