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Vascular Surgery

Are different doppler tests normal?

07/05/2006

Question:

My doctor said I had symptoms of claudication. (Aching and heaviness, in both legs when I walk, that is relieved when I sit down.) He ordered doppler studies. They were: Brachial 148; Upper thigh 184; Above knee 165; Below knee 160; Ankle DP 186; and Ankle PT 179. Why are they different? Is this normal?

Answer:

Your studies are normal. There can often be slight variations in the blood pressures taken in the arms and legs, so nothing to worry about.

If you truly do have symptoms typical of claudication, you need to have this study done while at rest and then immediately after treadmill exercise. Your doctor can order this from the same vascular lab you had the original studies done. Oftentimes a patient can have normal pulses at rest but then there is a decrease with exercise, which can help diagnose and document the claudication. Good luck!

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated