Vascular imaging is offered at advanced imaging centers and hospitals throughout the Sentara system. An imaging tech will perform your exam, which will later be interpreted by a radiologist. Your healthcare team is prepared to answer any questions you have before, during and after your exam.
About vascular imaging
- Vascular imaging is used to detect vascular disease, such as hardening of the arteries, blood clots and blockages.
- Several different imaging tests can be used in vascular imaging.
- Sentara offers a full range of non-invasive and minimally invasive diagnostic imaging services for patients with vascular disease.
What is vascular imaging?
Vascular imaging is used to detect vascular disease. Peripheral arties carry blood to the extremities, such as the legs and feet. When these blood vessels become clogged with calcium deposits, it narrows the passageway.
The medical name for this hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) is peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This condition decreases the blood flow to the nerves and tissues, which can result in pain in the legs, ulcers, wounds that will not heal and even more serious complications.
Sentara offers a full range of non-invasive and minimally invasive diagnostic imaging services for patients with vascular disease from in office peripheral vascular lab studies to advanced imaging studies. Your doctor will give you more information on the vascular imaging appropriate for your diagnosis.
What can vascular imaging tell my doctor?
Vascular imaging can inform you doctor about many conditions including:
- Blood flow to organs and tissues
- Blockages (stenosis) and abnormalities like plaque or emboli
- Blood clots
- Carotid artery disease
- Peripheral artery and venous diseases
- Renal and mesenteric blood vessel abnormalities
- Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in the legs or arms
- Enlarged artery (aneurysm)
- Varicose veins
- Narrowing of vessels
- Congenital malformations
How do I prepare for my exam?
Various tests are used to study vascular disease. Your physician can help you best prepare based on which tests will be used.
What tests may be used to diagnose vascular disease?
- Doppler study, which measures and detects blood flow
- CT scan or Computed Tomography Angiogram (CTA)
- MRI or MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram)
- Ankle Brachial Index, which can determine whether blood flow to the leg is blocked.
- Arteriography, an X-ray image that shows the flow of blood.
- Angiography, an outpatient procedure to help map blood vessels.
How will I find out the results?
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to the physician who referred you for the exam. In some cases, the radiologist may discuss results with you at the conclusion of your examination.